The Exodus of Americans Moving to Belize
Every year, more-and-more people are looking at investing and relocating off-shore. Whether it is for lifestyle or retirement, Americans & Canadians are rethinking their lives and where in the world would provide the best future. This is shown by the recent migration stats.
Americans & Canadians are leaving their home countries and seeking foreign visas in record numbers, according to immigration lawyers and expatriate organizations. Belize saw an unprecedented number of Americans not only inquiring about Belize real estate but also following through on their pledge and taking the steps to leave over the last 3-years (2020, 2021 & 2022). This is seen by the growth in the expat population on Ambergris Caye over recent years.
The number of Americans who were recorded as having given up their citizenship or U.S. residency soared to 5,816 in the first six months of 2020, compared with 2,072 in all of 2019, according to data from the Internal Revenue Service.
Dan Prescher, the senior editor of Internationalliving.com, said traffic related to “how to move out of the U.S.” surged 1,676 percent in 2020 and has been a continued trend since.
“Quieter, more stable countries start to look appealing,” he said.
The exodus has been led by not only baby boomer expats, but also young professionals looking for an opportunity and parents looking for countries with open and safe schools that provide futures for their children. No matter the age, the group largely consists of Americans with financial means and the ability to work virtually, or are in a position to relocate.
Why are people leaving?
The U.S. State Department reported in April that there are a record 8.7 million Americans live abroad. This number alone speaks for itself – never before has such a large group of U.S.-born citizens lived abroad. They’ve decided that it’s time for a change, to move to a new location where they are able to not just survive but thrive.
People’s motives for leaving or seeking relocation differ. But overall, the objective is a better life and a more promising future. The IMMI Group analyzed the top 10 motives for leaving the US, the list includes;
- Cost of healthcare
- Government regulations
Why People Are Looking at Belize & Ambergris Caye
Belize Real Estate & most of all Ambergris Caye Real Estate have seen a boom over recent years. Most of the buyers are people looking at living and/or investing overseas. This is seen by the growth in Belize real estate transactions over recent years;
While there is no nationwide MLS for Belize to track the total sales data and the number of real estate transactions, RE/MAX Belize is the largest real estate company in Belize with over 100 agents in 13 offices and shows a good indication of where the market is at and how it has grown.
Total sales volume increased 8.7% from 2019 to 2020, followed by a staggering 167.7% from 2020 to 2021. Based on current year-end projections, sales volume and real estate transactions in Belize are expected to grow by 301.5% year-over-year from 2021 through 2022.
From the beginning of 2020, at the start of the COVID pandemic, through to 2021, total Belize real estate sales volume has increased by 190.94%.
For RE/MAX Belize, the market has seen the number of sales exceed 2019 total sales volumes by 300% (299.6%).
Potential buyers are increasingly younger with more-and-more buyers being in their 40’s and 50’s (compared to retirees of earlier years). Most of the people purchasing Belize real estate are from the US and Canada. Among the top reasons for considering Belize for second homeownership:
- Allows diversification outside the USA or Canada
- Provides a safe secure alternative during societal unrest
- The only English-speaking country in Central America
- Close geographic proximity to the USA
- No capital gains tax, very low property taxes
- Tropical Caribbean climate
- World-class fishing, diving, snorkeling, and watersports
Second home ownership in Belize is like “going abroad with training wheels”. It’s a very safe and easy experience, and the number one comment from those who have done it is that they wish they had done so sooner.
Ambergris Caye Relocation
The top reasons people choose Belize and Ambergris Caye real estate include;
- Tax protection
- Accepting of new residence
- Stable political climate
- English speaking
- Schools & Education
- Racial and cultural diversity and acceptance
- Currency pegged 2:1 with USD
- Opportunities and room to grow
Many countries have restricted accessibility to residency, which makes travel and relocation more difficult. Not Belize. Right now Belize is open and accepting tourists, expats seeking offshore residency, and citizens. Belize is a small country that is very pro-foreign investment with a small population. The country’s agricultural independence and desirable climate make it one of the top destinations for Americans & Canadians seeking relocation.
There are many other thriving places to make a life. This has led to many people seeking a brighter tomorrow, a life that provides freedom, safety, security, and support.