FIJI, AN ISLAND GUIDE
has always been one of the world's great escapes.
a quick three hours flight from Auckland or Sydney, and now with direct
flights from Los Angeles, Fiji offers a unique opportunity to own your
own piece of Pacific Paradise.
Fiji has become increasingly popular. This is in
large part due to Fiji’s proximity and comparatively, inexpensively
priced land vs. destinations such as Tahiti and Hawaii.
has more than 322 islands each fringed with coral reefs and lapped by
year round warm blue waters – creating a haven for relaxation and
recreation - fishing, diving and snorkelling to name a few.
its wealth of natural beauty, Fiji true magic lies in its people and the
fascinating blend of their diverse cultures.
Fiji enjoys a tropical
climate, with year round warmth, making it popular escape from the
winters in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
Fiji has only two
The Wet & Warm
Season, “Fiji Summer” - December to April with temperatures
averaging 88F (31C), higher rainfall and humidity.
The Dry Season,
“Fiji Winter” - May to November with temperatures averaging 84F (29C),
less rainfall and humidity.
Temperatures vary due
to each islands topography and cooling trade winds.
Fiji has pronounced
dry and wet zones on its major islands especially Viti Levu and Vanua
Levu. The smaller islands and coral atolls on the other hand receive
little rain and a lot more sunshine.
LIVING FULL TIME OR
PART TIME IN FIJI
Visitors can actually
stay in Fiji for up to 6 months on a tourist visa which suits a good
number of purchasers/ owners of Fiji real estate.
If you plan to spend
longer periods of time in Fiji, the most expedient thing to do is to
apply for renewable three-year permanent residency. This does not
however mean you have to give up your existing citizenship or passport.
chiefs traded with Europeans – they exchanged good including land for
valuables like muskets.
In 1874 British
Imperial rule ratified a good number of these historical land
“transfers” and thus created land with “freehold” title. Approx 10% of
Fiji land is freehold - a rare commodity in the Pacific.
Freehold land in Fiji
ranges from tropical plantations to beautiful beach front, even to
entire offshore islands.
land in other Pacific Islands including Hawaii, Vanuatu and Rarotonga
can only be obtained by way of lease. There is no freehold title in
The concept of
leasehold land is relatively common in Europe, for example in many
“prime” locations in London (UK) owning property can only be achieved by
way of lease.
The Fiji Government itself
controls about 7 percent of the land and issues leases for up to 99
years. These “Crown Leases” provide a second sector of clearly
defined and secure land ownership.
The balance of land
approx 83% is in Fijian “communal” ownership. In 1940, the Native Lands
Trust Board was established to manage that land.
native land cannot be sold, but leases of up to 99 years are available.
The number of NLTB lease tenants range from multimillion-dollar resort
hotel companies to small vegetable farmers and households and is growing
For more on Fiji Land
CONSIDER WHEN BUYING FIJI REAL ESTATE
Considerations when buying
property in Fiji include:
1. Utilities like power and water.
Keep in mind that the farther you are away from a large town the
property, the less likely to have access to ANY utilities.
2. Proximity to town, shopping, and an
airport: There is a lot of beautiful property available in Fiji, however
much of it is an hour or more away from a town. This can become a fairly
daunting challenge given the condition of some of the dirt roads,
especially during the rainy season.
3. Beach vs. hill/view lots: Many
people dream of having a beachfront home but it is not always the most
Under Fijian law, no beach is considered private in Fiji; indigenous
people always have a right of access – a factor to take into account if
you live nearby a local village.
so many elevated sites available, many hill lots can offer great views,
privacy, cooling trade winds, and still be only a few minutes walk to
the nearest beach.
4. Home vs. land purchase: While it
would be perfect to just find that already built house on the beach,
constructed homes usually command a premium. In many cases (if you are
not under time pressure) it is easier and much less expensive to buy the
land and have a local company build a custom or kit home for you. Most
builders are from Australia and New Zealand and know their trade well.
5. Accessibility: Land is sometimes
sold that has no legitimate road access to it. The question of access
should be addressed on the back of the title by way of a legal
easement that sets forth your way of access. Without this, you could be
in for trouble. This is especially important when looking at the more
remote properties. This problem can be circumvented when you purchase
from a development company that guarantees road access to your property,
and in many cases provides road maintenance for the development.
FIJI REAL ESTATE & POLITICS
Fiji’s politics can best be
described as a little “messy”. Several military coups have taken place
over the years with the most recent in 2006. Democratic elections are
scheduled for 2009.
For more Information refer
to sources like
Portals to the World, selected by Library of Congress Subject
Experts, and others on the internet.