Bahamas real estate market showing signs of recovery

Bahamanian real estate market on the upswing

The real estate market in the Bahamas is showing signs of recovery with Grand Bahama leading the way, it is claimed.

According to local agents 2009 saw price reductions and slow sales but now the market appears to be bouncing back.

Potential second home owners in particular are returning to the market according to Peter Turnquest, president of the Chamber of Commerce on Grand Bahama.

In 2009 the Bahamas saw many properties linger unsold on the market and there was a noted lack of interest in buyer enthusiasm. But land prices in New Providence have been largely recession-proof. ‘There are great opportunities and deals in Grand Bahama. It’s still one of the best buys in The Bahamas and maybe in the Caribbean,’ said Turnquest.

Prices have probably fallen by around 10% according to the Bahamas Real Estate Association. But now lower prices are proving attractive.

According to real estate agent Zack Bonczek the Bahamas real estate market is a very unique creature. ‘We are geographically close to the US and our government and currency are stable. We enjoy a year around climate that is sunny and warm and our islands and our people are equally as beautiful,’ he said.

‘Our banking industry has very prudent lending practices which enables them to minimize their risks while maximizing their returns. We did not experience a credit crisis,’ he added.

He also pointed out that in contrast with other nearby markets such as the US, the Bahamas real estate market does not have an over abundance of inventory. ‘We do not have neighbourhoods that are 50% or more in foreclosure. We have not seen a huge sell off of foreign or locally owned properties. We have enjoyed a relatively balanced supply and demand situation,’ he explained.

He reckons that the price correction caused by the global economic downturn has been healthy for the real estate market. ‘It allows the more prudent investors the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of home ownership in a slower market,’ he added.

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