Picture postcard Fiji lives on

A global pandemic has done little to dim Fiji’s aspirational credentials as a place to holiday, live and invest in.

A global pandemic has done little to dim Fiji’s aspirational credentials as a place to holiday, live and invest in.

As 2020 draws to a close, few will reflect on it as being a stellar year given the havoc that COVID-19 has created.

Although Bayleys’ Pacific Island colleagues remain separated from New Zealand through tight border restrictions, and recreational travel to the Fijian islands is suspended for now, managing director and partner of Bayleys Real Estate (Fiji) Limited, Philip Toogood, says the Fijian people’s sunny optimism shines through.

“While Fiji was largely – and thankfully – spared, with only a handful of COVID-19 cases, we feel for those who have been affected and those who have suffered personal loss.

“It has been humbling to see the people of Fiji, across all the 330 islands which make up this beautiful nation, remain steadfast and true to their faiths.

“Given the commercial tourism downturn, many have stoically returned to the land to sustain the lives of their families and neighbours, but the welcoming smiling faces of Fiji’s diverse peoples, remains intact.”

Toogood says without visitors to its shores, the Fijian tourism industry, which is the backbone of its economy, has taken a massive hit, but he remains optimistic.

“When visitors and investors in both commercial ventures and their own lifestyles return, they will find Fiji as they remember it – or as they have read and dreamed about.

“Elsewhere, in global tourist hotspots, the planet got a much-needed breather.

“The canals of Venice became clear, the skies above some of the world’s most polluted cities became vivid blue, and wildlife roamed where usually people dominated the landscape for personal pleasure.

“Fiji remains as enticing as ever and we can’t wait to open our doors to the world again.”

Toogood says there have been some encouraging and positive moves at a government level to spark economic stimulus.

“In the 2020/2021 National Budget, the Fiji Government released initiatives to ease the burdens of its people and to stimulate investment, both locally and from abroad.

“Most significantly, the budget has led to the abolishment of all stamp duties.

“The 10-percent stamp duty once incurred by non-Fijians when buying property here, has gone.

“So, too, has the 3-percent stamp duty on property purchases by Fijians, stamp duty on mortgages and on all other instruments where once it applied.”

Further, Toogood explains, capital gains tax has been simplified.

“It now combines land and depreciated improvements as a single, combined value, rather than treating gains in those improvements as income, and taxing this at a higher tax rate.

“Land developers are now able to enjoy tax-free profits from new subdivisions for a limited time, to encourage growth in that sector and benefit both local and foreign buyers.”

Other economic stimulus initiatives include a significant reduction in duties on building material items and changes to tourist departure taxes.

“To encourage and boosts tourism, departure tax has been reduced by F$100 per person and for the first 150,000 tourists visiting Fiji following the budget announcement, a F$400 subsidy is being offered on specified packages.”

Some impact on property values in some sectors is to be expected, however, Toogood says supply and demand elements are just as pertinent to Fiji, as they are elsewhere.

“There has been a massive increase in traffic to the Bayleys Real Estate Fiji website since the end of the first quarter 2020.

“We’ve fielded heightened levels of enquiry on Fijian property from buyers in the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, Asia and the traditional markets of New Zealand and Australia.

“I believe demand for Fijian property opportunities will be very strong once access to this country re-opens.”

Toogood stresses that savvy buyers know timing is everything in the property market.

“There has never been a better time to consider Fiji as an investment destination.

“Be it for personal leisure, retirement or commercial development, the quality of the offerings in this edition of Waterfront is extraordinary.

“There are stunning islands, private estates, holiday homes and apartments, along with development sites just waiting for new project initiatives.”

Toogood says in a global context, Fijian property is affordable and accessible.

“As we look to the new normal in our lives, Fiji offers the opportunity to carve new futures, be it for short term stays with family and friends in your own home or apartments or for a more permanent change of pace - the choice is yours.”


[Download PDF guide]