Carey: Real estate market recovering after recession
The real estate market is continuing to recover after the recession of 2008 and 2009, though properties remain 20 to 30 percent below market value, according to owner of Mario Carey Realty, Mario Carey.
Speaking to Guardian Business at the opening of the Harbour Island office of Better Homes and Gardens, a subsidiary of Mario Carey Realty, Carey said 2016 has seen the luxury real estate market strengthen as the wealthy gain more disposable income with improving western economies.
However, Bahamas property values have only seen a moderate strengthening, remaining below pre-recession levels, according to Carey. That has not softened foreign interest in The Bahamas as a second home and rental market, though.
“Nobody was immune to the recession, the market was soft,” said Carey.
“Rentals were down but now the pulse is back. We’re seeing more demand and people have more access to disposable income.”
Carey, with his Better Homes and Gardens franchise boosting his business by 30 percent, partnered with Harbour Island realtor Adell Farquharson to corner the Eleuthera market. Farquharson explained that the Harbour Island real estate market is “hot” at the moment.
“We are a little bubble right here when the rest of the world and the economy was in a slump and a lot of people took that opportunity to invest in Harbour Island… the market just shot up,” Farquharson said.
She said properties in Harbour Island start at around $1 million, adding that she, and soon Better Homes and Gardens, can tailor the Eleuthera real estate market to almost any level of buyer.
“Our geography just lends to that kind of diversity of choice and so that’s what people are attracted to, and people are attracted to people,” Farquharson said. “They come year after year because they make friends, and they eventually want to live with their friends.”
Carey said while the market in 2016 did not bring increased property values, there were increases in transactions, which could signal a positive trend that could continue into 2017.
“In 2016 the real estate market showed good activity and on the local scene we’ve seen Bahamians wanting to get into the real estate market,” he said.
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