The Bahamas have become an increasingly popular destination for travel. It’s not just a popular vacation spot, but also an ideal place to settle for those who are looking for a more relaxed lifestyle.
So should you buy a home in The Bahamas? Or choose a luxury rental? In this article, we’ll discuss the average rental prices in The Bahamas and what makes The Bahamas a truly spectacular place to live.
What is the average rent in The Bahamas?
The average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,250/month across the entire country (though you may be able to find studios for $1,000/month).
This number is skewed slightly by higher costs near the cities and popular neighborhoods of Nassau and Freeport. However, cities balance out the higher rental prices with easy access to food, utilities, entertainment, and transportation.
Prices will differ if you’re looking for a single-bedroom apartment or are moving with a family. A three-bedroom in a larger city averages around $2,500.
The average cost of rent for 3-bedroom apartments is currently at:
- The Bahamas overall: $2,500
- Nassau: $2,900
- Freeport: $2,000
Rent might seem expensive to some expats, but if you’re coming from a big city like New York, San Francisco, or Toronto, your rent will feel equivalent or mid-priced, if not slightly cheaper.
Still, rent can be freely negotiated between landlords and tenants, since there are no government restrictions placing limits on rental values.
Visitors from the United States should keep in mind that the maximum period of stay without a visa or application for permanent residency is eight months.
Ready to check out your Bahamas rental options? Check out MCR Bahamas current list of rentals.
Average rent for vacation homes
Vacation homes are a popular option for Bahamas visitors who prefer an all-inclusive “home away from home” feeling on their trip. Vacation or short-term rentals are usually intended for stays shorter than 30 days.
Prices range a lot depending on the location, size of the rental, and amenities you’re looking for. You can find a condo in Nassau for $200/night for two people…or a private island for $19,000 a night for 12 people.
Some of our more expensive luxury rentals go for $40,000/month.
Expect off-peak averages in quieter areas to cost less, with estimated monthly costs for luxury accommodations in popular areas to be higher in the peak months of December through April.
Average rent for long-term stays
Long-term stays are usually extensions of vacation rentals that offer discounts for extended reservations. For example, if you stay at a rental property for 6 weeks, you could pay less nightly than if you only stayed for a few days.
Of course, the rent for long-term stays – usually for 30 days or more – depends on location, neighborhood, and the length of stay.
Overall Cost of Living in The Bahamas
- Family of 4: $4,382.29/month
- Single person: $1,232.82/month
This cost of living includes food, transportation, clothing, childcare, and more. While these numbers might feel high, renters will particularly appreciate that most apartments come pre-furnished, keeping initial costs of moving low with less furniture to move to your new home.
Plus, the money you’ll save on income, estate, and capital gains tax should help with these adjustments.
To give you an idea of the cost of living, here’s a brief breakdown on what you could experience:
- Eating out: Eating out in The Bahamas is slightly more expensive compared to the U.S. Average prices can range between $8 for fast food to $70 for a mid-priced three course meal for two.
- Public transit: Public transit can be less expensive compared to the U.S. You can expect to pay around $47 for a monthly bus pass in Nassau.
- Health insurance: Health insurance will vary depending on a number of factors such as age, medical conditions and the type of coverage, however you can expect to pay around $50 to $250/mo.
- Utilities: Utilities in The Bahamas typically do run higher compared to the U.S. You can expect to pay around $250-$300 monthly (electricity, heating/cooling and water) for a smaller sized apartment.
- Groceries: Grocery prices can really vary throughout the island and you’ll find the fresh produce is comparable to pricing you find in the U.S.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in The Bahamas
Living in The Bahamas is a dream for many people and has some major perks. Before you make any decisions, it’s important to know the benefits and drawbacks of life on this beautiful island chain.
The coastlines, year-round tropical weather, and laid-back lifestyle are just a few of the major selling points for a move to the islands.
The Bahamas has an above average literacy rate which can be seen in the number of high quality schools throughout the island. Some of the best international schools can be found in New Providence and Grand Bahama.
Other pros of living in The Bahamas include:
- A truly immersive and rich culture
- Great entertainment, from music to art, there’s always something to see and enjoy
- Stunning beaches
- Some of the best luxury housing on the market
- Tax benefits
- Year-round excellent weather
- Low crime rates and plenty of safe neighborhoods
- Endless natural beauty to explore outside of the beaches
Some challenges to living in The Bahamas can include:
- Transportation outside of larger cities like Nassau may be more difficult for individuals without a car
- Cost of food and other basic goods can run higher due to import tariffs
- Utilities can also be higher for renters and buyers alike
- While the weather is beautiful throughout the year, The Bahamas does experience a hurricane season in the summer months to early fall. However, the overall risk of major or severe storms annually is low
How much does it cost to build a house in The Bahamas?
On average, a 1,500 sq. foot home can run between $155,000 to $416,250 to build in The Bahamas. If you’re looking to really customize everything, you can expect a higher price point.
The building costs for a standard home in Abaco can run between $200 to $250 per square foot on average. A luxury home could run higher than $400 per square foot, typically around $800 to $1000 per square foot.
Where do costs come from? Purchasing of the land, construction costs, transaction fees, and building permits will all impact the building costs.
A building permit is needed for all new construction, which includes homes. A permit is valid for 18 months from the date of issue. Extension can be applied for prior to the permit’s expiration date if needed.
Conclusion: Start Renting in The Bahamas
If you’re not planning on purchasing – or building – a home, renting in The Bahamas is a great way to experience the incredible climate, culture, and beauty of the islands.
Our talented agents will help you find your own piece of paradise here in The Bahamas. Contact us today!