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Optimistic outlook for real estate in 2011

Real estate in the country is on the road to a”slow recovery”, according to President of the Bahamas Real Estate Association(BREA)Patricia Birch, who said early indicators are pointing towards a boost in 2011.

Birch toldGuardian Businesslast week she is optimistic of a slight turnaround in the sector, and external factors will provide a boost for real estate in the country.

“I think we’re starting to see signs that things are getting a little better,”Birch said. Atlantis is pretty full which means more people are vacationing and real estate prices are starting to regularize. I definitely think that 2011 is slowly going to be a better year. It won’t be like the big boom period, but it will be much better.”

Birch mentioned that 2010 wasn’t the best of years given economic conditions on the domestic and global levels, and the industry braced for a challenging period. It remained relatively steady, with figures from The Central Bank of The Bahamas’Quarterly Economic Review revealing a slight drop in mortgage commitments, which stood at$31 million compared to$34.8 million in 2009.

Factors such as unemployment played a role in the performance of the real estate industry in 2010, but the BREA president said the number of projects that will take form this year will create a domino effect that will give the sector a boost. She also expects the demand for property to rise due to the$2.6 billion Baha Mar project, which will make properties adjacent to the Cable Beach area more desirable.

“A lot of people will become employed and it’s always a trickle down effect in the economy,”she said.”It will be good for about everybody if employment increases because that means the creation of income and in turn provide benefits for the real estate industry. With that said we will have a better outlook.”

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