ResortBrokers Vanuatu

23 Nov 2023
Words John Miller Informer 109

ResortBrokers Vanuatu

ResortBrokers’ expansion into the South Pacific extends our operations outside Australia for the first time.

View ResortBrokers' Vanuatu listings here.

With all necessary licenses in place, ResortBrokers has expanded its footprint outside Australian shores for the first time with a broker in Vanuatu. Our presence in the South Pacific island nation extends our reach beyond our long-established network of over 30 brokers across Australia.

“Our international expansion is the next step in ResortBrokers’ evolution,” says Managing Director Trudy Crooks. “We’ve grown from a statewide agency into a nationwide agency and now we’re international. We’ve built our reputation over almost four decades as an accommodation property specialist that delivers results. As such, we’re constantly approached to sell accommodation properties both here and in the region. We already have several listings in Vanuatu, so establishing a formal presence there makes perfect sense.”

Spearheading ResortBrokers Vanuatu is veteran New Zealand real estate agent Neil Hamilton. Hamilton, a former Chairman of First National New Zealand, has lived in Vanuatu since 2011.

“Other than its stunning beauty, Vanuatu is hugely attractive for investors because it’s a tax haven,” says Hamilton. “There’s no personal income tax, no company tax, no capital gains tax and no inheritance tax. The government gets its income mainly from the registration of international companies. Every year, those companies have to re-register, as ResortBrokers Vanuatu will now do.”

Vanuatu’s land ownership system stems from when the country gained its independence from its British and French colonial administrators. When the then New Hebrides became the Republic of Vanuatu in 1980, all land ownership reverted to one of three forms of ownership: government, municipal and custom. Vanuatu’s laws allow custom-owned land, which is the majority of land in Vanuatu, to be leased by foreign nationals from custom owners for a maximum of 75 years.

“It’s technically leasehold, but virtually freehold as no one ever lets these leases run out,” says Hamilton. “Let’s say I’m selling a resort that has 20 years left on its lease. I would recommend the buyer put a condition in the sales contract requiring the vendor to either do a variation of the existing lease to push it out to 75 years, that is, to add another 55 years, or they could cancel the existing lease and create a new 75-year lease. The result is the same. That way the buyer has the security of long tenure. Vanuatu’s legal system is mostly based on British law and is very sound. Contracts  are rarely dishonoured here, so there’s negligible risk.”

Vanuatu is just under three hours’ flight from Brisbane, and just over three hours from Auckland. Hamilton says capital growth in Vanuatu largely tracks market fluctuations in Australia, and to a lesser extent New Zealand.

“Vanuatu is hugely attractive for investors because it’s a tax haven.”

“If there’s a property bull market in Australia, then Vanuatu prices tend to go up as well, although it usually takes a few months for those ripples to come over the water,” he says. “Likewise, if properties go down in Australia. We’re not standalone in that sense. However, there are exceptions. For example, if you build a particularly attractive resort and it shows a really good return on investment and there’s no tax involved, that’s obviously very attractive to an offshore buyer. Those properties do increase in value independently because they’re in high demand.”

Hamilton says that while most investors target Efate, they shouldn’t overlook other parts of the island nation. Espiritu Santo, known as Santo, is the largest island in Vanuatu, and an area Hamilton considers prime for development.

“Apart from the sheer beauty of the place, Air Vanuatu, in a co-share with Qantas, has just opened direct flights from Brisbane to Luganville, the main town in Santo,” he says. “These two flights a week will really open up the area. I can see ResortBrokers doing a lot of business up there as well, for sure.” END


Neil Hamilton

Neil Hamilton, Broker
+678 773 9672






Back to Blog