Language: French (official)
Population: Abt. 275,000
Area: 4,167 Sq km
French Polynesia appeals to romantics, to travelers interested in the classic South Pacific experience - great beaches, clear water, spectacular scenery, overwater bungalows and friendly, interesting people. Unfortunately, the cost of living is extremely high, and real estate prices are high.
In 2004, French Polynesia became an “overseas country within the French Republic.” A key motive for autonomy was to protect local employment and land rights, in the face of the thousands of people coming to French Polynesia from France and other European countries.
The autonomy law restricts the right to buy landed property to those residing in the territory. How long they must have resided is not yet clear, but it is likely to be between 5 and 10 years. Even before these recent changes, it was very difficult for a foreigner to buy land.
Each foreign investment requires an authorization from the government. In addition, Polynesian land titling is problematic. As elsewhere in the region, there are usually many owners, and all must give their permission to sell, which is often impossible to achieve.
Polynesians are very attached to the land of their ancestors, and often have no interest in selling. A third warning - construction quality is often low. This provides ample opportunity for the import of cost-effective & durable housing material.