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Teslyk: High-end real estate on the rise

Scotiabank (Bahamas) Limited executives are reporting an increase in business from its affluent clients looking to purchase high-end real estate.

While there seems to be a “leading edge” in that area, the bank’s managing director, Kevin Teslyk, admitted to Guardian Business that they are seeing improved development in new homes for first-time buyers.

“We’re starting to see the higher-end real estate market that’s starting to come back. We’re seeing the emerging affluent individuals are again looking at second-home purchases or vacation properties, so that tends to be the leading edge,” he revealed. “We’re still not seeing a whole lot in the way of new home development for first-time home purchasers. I think the consumer is not yet fully confident that now is the time to do that.”

He believes that 2014 will be a very important year for The Bahamas, as the $3.6 billion Baha Mar development is set to open its doors in December.  It’s a development that Teslyk said will help to give The Bahamas quite an economic boost. Right now, Teslyk noted that consumers are not yet “fully confident”.

However, as major foreign direct investments (FDIs) come on stream in The Bahamas, Teslyk pointed out how it will create some substantial momentum through employment and revenue generation.

“That’s going to create some substantial momentum, more jobs and higher salaries. That extra capital and money in the system available, that discretionary income where people are generally feeling more confident and comfortable that their personal and the country’s affairs will see increased activity, then we will see more by way of borrowing, which will undoubtedly translate into growth,” he told Guardian Business.

“I think 2014 will be a very important year for The Bahamas, especially in the latter half in as Baha Mar development approaches completion. New jobs will be created is a result of its operation, and the spin-off businesses associated with that development [will be] tremendous.”

“All businesses, whether small, large or medium-sized enterprises will be providing products or services to Baha Mar, a brand new entity that will be catering to tourists.”

Nathaniel Beneby Jr., chairman of the Clearing Banks Association (CBA), credited The Bahamas’ modest economic recovery to FDI and an improvement in tourism numbers.

He also told Guardian Business that consumer confidence is increasing.

Beneby also believes the Baha Mar resort will bring a major economic boost for the country.

“The government has been talking about some potential foreign direct investment. One specific investment that will help us is the Baha Mar project, which is projected to come on stream and be opened in December 2014. That will convert into hundreds, if not thousands of jobs. Any country in the Caribbean will welcome a project like Baha Mar right now,” according to Beneby.

“Tourism numbers are improving. The bulk of it is really cruise ship arrivals. While that still helps, the more air arrivals the better because they spend more and stay longer. So it’s really the improvement in tourism and FDI, more specifically Baha Mar. We are hearing positive reports around other potential investments to come on stream. And consumer confidence is up. Bahamians are beginning to feel good and positive again.”

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