As one of the only countries in the South Pacific islands that allow foreign ownership of land, Fiji is unique.
From entire islands to large 300+ acre coconut plantations, or quaint quarter-acre lots perfect for a beautiful residential villa complete with pool and landscaped garden, Fiji offers a lifestyle to suit everyone.
There are three types of land in Fiji: freehold, native lease land, and crown lease land.
- Freehold property can be bought and sold freely in most areas of Fiji. Only about 8% of all land in Fiji is freehold.
- Native land can be leased but never owned. Leases are usually for a period of 99 years and monitored by the TLTB (iTaukei Land Trust Board where the right to exclusively occupy land for a period of time is granted).
- Crown land is owned by the Fiji Government which can be leased directly from the government in certain areas of Fiji.
In Fiji freehold or land tenure is via a Torrens title land-registration system with the title guaranteed constitutionally by the State.
You do not need to be a citizen of Fiji to purchase freehold property in most areas of Fiji. There are only restrictions on the purchase of freehold property by non-citizens in urban areas of Fiji as outlined in Fiji's new Land Sales (Amendment) Act 2014 which prohibits the sale of freehold and crown residential property to non-citizens within the boundaries of cities and towns such as Suva, Nadi, and Savusavu. As Pacific Harbour is not located within a city or town boundary there are no restrictions on the sale of freehold property to non-citizens. If purchasing vacant freehold land non-citizens are required to build a new home on the lot costing no less than FJD $250,000 within 2 years of purchasing the property. You also need to register with Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) for tax purposes.
4 months stay for holiday purposes are given upon arrival for countries that do not require a visa. You are able to lodge an application for a two month extension with the Department of Immigration.
However, securing residency is the most expedient thing to do if you plan to spend long periods of time here. Most foreigners who own property can obtain a renewable 3-year residency permit through the Fiji Immigration Department.
Ownership of real estate properties in Fiji can be individuals or more than one person. Businesses and partnerships can acquire, hold and convey real estate properties in Fiji. Partnerships may be more than 20 people with one general partner. Trusts and joint venture can purchase real estate properties in Fiji, as well.
All land within the Pacific Harbour and the Waidroka area is certified freehold land, unless otherwise stated. If the freehold property you intend to purchase is larger than one acre than the approval of the Minister for Land must be sought first – this is nothing to be concerned about, just a simple step of which you should be aware.
Yes, and most of Fiji’s commercial banks have approved list of appraisers that form the bank’s panel of appraisers.
Financing your Home
Non-resident investors can obtain loans from commercial banks in Fiji. The maximum loan is handled by the Reserve Bank of Fiji. Most buyers tend to use their own properties in their own country of residence as equity. The Reserve Bank of Fiji will monitor commercial banks’ lending to different sectors. The approval of loan application is on a case-by-case basis.
External non-resident accounts can be opened by most banks. They will be able to assist you with this requirement for the comfort of transferring currency overseas for your investment in Fiji.
Foreign investors with established businesses in Fiji can readily make payments overseas. Payments for imports and service related charges are made directly at the commercial banks without RBF approval.
All capital account transactions and some current account transactions require approval of the Reserve Bank. These include:
- Transfer of capital and income;
- Maintenance of foreign currency accounts and selected external accounts;
- Issue and transfer of shares involving non-resident shareholders;
- Advance import payments above F$20,000 per invoice;
- Emigration allowance;
- Withdrawal of Investment ;
- Offsetting of Foreign Exchanges against foreign exchange bills payable in respect of merchandise imports over $100,000 per transaction.
Loan repayment above F$50,000 per amount due
However, applications that need RBF approval
are readily given if all the necessary documents are provided.
Banks in Fiji
The functions, powers, and responsibilities of the Bank are specified in the Reserve Bank of Fiji Act, 1983 are as follows:
- To regulate the issue of currency, and the supply, availability and international exchange of money;
- To promote monetary stability;
- To promote a sound financial structure; and
- To foster credit and exchange conditions conducive to the orderly and balanced economic development of the country.
ANZ’s entry into the Pacific region dates back to December 16, 1880 when the Union Bank of Australia (est.1837) opened a branch in the old capital of Fiji, Levuka.
For more information on ANZ, please visit: www.anzfiji.com.fj
As of 2013, Westpac Fiji has been serving the Fijian community for 112 years. We provide personal and business banking, corporate banking, foreign trading and international services to thousands of our customers. We employ more than 488 people, operate 20 branches and have an expansive In-store Banking, ATM and EFTPOS network.
For more information on Westpac, please visit: www.westpac.com.fj
BSP, the leading bank of the South Pacific, began operations in Fiji in December 2006. Three years later, BSP acquired the Colonial Fiji Group which brought with it a large branch network with representation throughout Fiji.
For more information on BSP Fiji, please visit their website
Bank of Baroda started its operations in Fiji on 5th July 1961 with Suva Branch. Second branch opened in Lautoka in year 1963. The major development took place in the year 1966.
For more information on Bank of Baroda, please visit: www.bankofbaroda-fiji.com
BRED Bank is a French bank which opened its doors in the capital of Fiji on 3rd November, 2012. BRED Bank is locally incorporated and a subsidiary of Campagnie Financiere de la BRED formed in ninety one years ago and currently has a capital base of nine hundred and eighty seven million dollars. BRED Bank offers a whole range of products and services, competitive interest rates and housing loan incentives, subsidization of costs and special service for elderly citizens.
For further information on BRED Bank, please visit: www.bred.com.fj
A property transaction usually takes 60-90 days, though at times transactions may take longer or could be effected in a shorter timeframe. Harbour Property Services will assist both the Vendor and the Purchaser throughout the entire transaction to ensure the timeline to effect settlement is minimized.
Any legal contract for purchasing properties in Fiji must be in writing and valid. The common law of contracts also similar to England and USA is to prepare a contract every time one sells or purchases a property.
A sales and purchase agreement by the seller that is checked and approved by a certified lawyer prior to signing. For non-residents of Fiji, there are certain requirements that the seller can work through with both parties in order to the contract becoming unconditional.
Once you decide to purchase a property, and have had an offer accepted by the Vendor, you will be asked to sign an ‘Offer To Purchase’ and make a 10% refundable deposit into a Trust Account.
Your appointed lawyer will then work with the Vendors appointed lawyer to draw up a ‘Sale and Purchase Agreement’. Upon settlement, funds will be released and you will receive a Certificate of Title for the Lot/Villa in your name.
What are other costs?
Stamp Duty is payable on all conveyances of property in Fiji prior to settlement.
Stamp Duty on property transfers ranges from 3% to 10% of the sale price of the property. 3% Stamp Duty is payable on the transfer of Residential properties by purchasers who are Fiji Citizens. Purchasers that are not Fiji citizens are required to pay 10% Stamp Duty on the Transfer of Residential properties as outlined in the Land Sales (Amendment) Act. Non-residential zoned properties require 3% Stamp Duty if being purchased by a buyer that is not a Fiji citizen. There is also Stamp Duty payable on Mortgages in Fiji. Stamp Duty is payable to the Stamp Duties Office based within the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) office.
Legal fees for conveyance and obtaining appropriate government approvals for non-resident purchasers are approximately FJD$5,000.
Yes, currently the VAT payable on goods and services in Fiji is 9%. Generally there is no VAT due on the purchase of a residential property in Pacific Harbour. VAT would be due on the purchase of newly subdivided lots or within a new development being offered to the market for the first time, or for the sale of Commercial, Industrial, or Investment properties. There is the opportunity to claim any VAT paid as a refund. This should be discussed directly with your accountant in Fiji.
In general VAT does not apply to the purchase of residential properties in Fiji but can be assessed when purchasing commercial investment properties or for vacant lots within a new development, however, each purchase is assessed independently by FRCA. We recommend that you seek independent advice from an accountant in Fiji and would be happy to provide a referral.
Building a Home
Yes. The Fijian Government has also recently reduced the duty rate for importing a pre-fabricated kit home into Fiji from 32% to 3% if to be used as a personal residence or 5% if for a commercial investment.
Like anywhere else in the world, if you are considering building your own home in Fiji, the cost of building can vary wildly depending upon the quality of finish you desire. We have provided a very rough guideline for your reference, and would be happy to recommend some quality building contractors.
Low End: F$1,500 - $2,000 per square meter
Mid-Range: F$2,000 – $3,000 per square meter
High End: F$3,000 - $4,000 per square meter plus
Estate Management Services
There is currently no Body Corporate in Pacific Harbour with the area managed by Estate Management Services Ltd (EMSL).
EMSL are responsible for the collection of kitchen and garden waste, and maintaining the streetlights, storm drains, verges and entries to the community. The Fiji Roads Authority are responsible for maintaining all roads in Pacific Harbour.
Estate Management Services Limited, monitors all new construction in the Resort and Architectural Drawings must be submitted to them, for initial endorsement and approval prior to obtaining a building permit. Once this is done an approval letter is issued, for submission to the relevant Government Authorities, along with the building plans.
PH Building Recommendations