#fiji real estate
Buying Real Estate in Fiji
A great number of readers have inquired about purchasing real estate in Fiji and becoming a resident. As the Australian, New Zealand and North American Baby Boomer cohort eases towards retirement and individuals seek second homes far from the beaten path, Fiji has become increasingly popular. This is in large part due to Fiji’s comparatively inexpensively priced land vs. that of destinations such as Tahiti and Hawaii.
It’s easiest way for a foreigner to purchase land in Fiji is to become a permanent resident. (This does not mean giving away your passport). You don’t have to be a permanent resident (you can actually stay in the country for up to 6 months just on a tourist visa) but it’s the most expedient thing to do if you plan to spend long periods of time there. Most foreigners who own property can obtain a renewable 3-year permanent residency.
Fiji may still be one of the better land investment opportunities in the Pacific despite prices having gone up significantly over the past four years.
There are three types of land in Fiji: native trust land, crown land, and freehold. Native land can be leased but never sold, and as such, it is usually considered a can of worms to develop anything on native land. Crown land is basically government land. Freehold property is the same as fee simple; it can be bought and sold freely and owned forever. Whenever looking at freehold land, however, always insist on seeing the Freehold Title and researching through a competent attorney here whether the title is indeed free and clear, with no caveats, mortgages, or other legal hassles attached to it.
If you’re going to purchase freehold property it’s a good idea to go through a reputable real estate agency, or a real estate development company where you have the security of both freehold ownership and assistance in the buying process. The last thing you want to deal with in Fiji is a legal dispute. Chances are, you’re not going to come out on top.
Only about 9% of all land in Fiji is freehold, but Vanua Levu and much of
the North is blessed with a large amount of that freehold land. (When the British were in power in Fiji, they created large chunks of freehold land to entice “European” farmers to Fiji to help colonize and farm; many of those freehold plantations were located on Taveuni, Vanua Levu and some of the outlying islands.) There is quite a bit of land for sale particularly in Vanua Levu, the second largest of the Fiji Islands with a wide variety of prices, accessibility and acreage. On Viti Levu’s Coral Coast there are residential parcels available that even have electricity supplied to the lots.