Interest in the Bahamas is rebounding as prospective owner-occupiers, rather than short-term investors, are finding property prices now within reach. Industry representatives are reporting an increase in activity from foreign and domestic buyers, characterized by careful confidence that is mirrored in lender caution. See the following article from Property Wire for more on this.
Consumer confidence appears to be returning to the real estate market in the Bahamas but those buying are no longer speculative investors, it is claimed.
The economic downturn may have introduced greater rationality into property pricing and a correction is not attracting more buyers, according to Patty Birch, president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA).
She believes that people are returning to the real estate market as they see prices have finally fallen, finding themselves able to make a safe investment in a tangible asset and one which is now more likely to be a place for them to live, rather than a short term investment made with the intention of flipping.
She explained that in the past the market was geared towards buying for investment and selling on after a couple of years for a huge profit. ‘It’s not like that now. The customers we are working with now are more thoughtful purchasers. During the bubble it was more frantic. Now they know what they want and where. They want a home to live in and a good quality of life that they may not have been able to afford before, but which they can get now,’ said Birch.
She has seen an uptick in sales in the last two months in particular. ‘A lot of people were looking before but they were holding off, they weren’t buying. But now you can see the buyers coming into the market,’ said Birch.
Real estate agent Carla Sweeting aid she has been probably 50% busier this year than last year in sales and rentals. ‘I feel that the confidence of buyers is picking up, definitely. Banks are being a little more careful with their lending. For instance, if you bought a property in a community with condo fees or maintenance fees, a lot of banks now have to have something from the association showing what they are in detail and they are incorporating those fees in qualifying their buyers. But there’s definitely an increase in people looking to buy,’ she told The Tribune.
Property agents are reporting that buyers now believe that they are getting good value for their money and they are a mixture of local buyers and foreign buyers.
For those buying to let, rental prices are also falling. Sweeting said that landlords are having to become more flexible or face long term property vacancies. ‘Rental prices have had to come down and in my opinion that had to happen anyway because we were at our max. Until the extra inventory is absorbed they’re not going back up,’ she explained.
It is estimated that properties are now renting for about 20% less than they were two years ago.
This article has been republished from Property Wire. You can also view this article at Property Wire, an international real estate news site.