Strong tourism numbers equate to increase in vacation home buyers throughout The Bahamas
A record 6.6 million tourists visited The Bahamas in 2018, a 7.9 percent increase over the previous year. Additionally, Nassau experienced its largest increase in air arrivals in more than two decades, logging a 20.6 percent increase in inbound flight traffic.
“The year 2018 was a very strong year for the tourism segment in The Bahamas, with the final three months of the year experiencing the highest quarterly growth in air arrivals to New Providence in the past 28 years,” said Lana Rademaker, chief brokerage officer of Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty. “This is an encouraging indicator for the economy in The Bahamas.”
According to the Central Bank economic report released in March, vacation home bookings in The Bahamas increased 34.9 percent in January 2019 compared with the same period in 2018, with Nassau gaining an increase of 23.7 percent.
“Strength in our tourism sector naturally impacts the momentum of our real estate market,” Rademaker said. “Many of our second- and third-home buyers are actively searching for residential opportunities at developments such as Baha Mar, The Reef and Pink Sands Resort in Harbour Island. Our clients are attracted to luxury vacation homes that also serve as income-generating properties with a headache free, turn-key hotel experience. Access to world-class amenities, fine dining and concierge services also remain top priorities for our clients.”
Rademaker added that The Bahamas remains the leading destination for the second-home buyer whose goal is to purchase an investment property that will realize a profit, either as rental income in the near future or as long-term asset appreciation.
“Specific to the Nassau market, we’ve recently experienced a resurgence in the Cable Beach market which can be attributed to Baha Mar’s full opening with property values holding very steady for homes and condos located near the resort,” she said. “Most Baha Mar executives choose to reside in the communities located close to their work, which positively affects the strength of the rental segment, and the interest in investment properties suitable for long-term executive rentals.”
While The Bahamas consistently attracts visitors and home buyers from all over the world, the largest number of people looking for vacation homes tend to be from the United States, eastern Canada, Western Europe and the UK.
“With an increase in new direct flight routes from Canada, the U.S. and Europe, The Bahamas is extremely easy to get to in a relatively short amount of time,” Rademaker said. “The idea of hopping on a direct flight from Toronto on a Friday afternoon and being on the beach in the Bahamas by sunset is incredibly appealing to most potential purchasers”
It’s not only New
Providence that’s benefitting from this surge in tourism. In a March 21 article in The Abaconian, Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation, noted that Leonard Thompson International in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, is the second busiest airport in the country. This comes as no surprise to Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty Estate Agent Laurie Schreiner. A significant number of Schreiner’s sales on Lubbers Quarters are to foreign buyers who use their homes to generate additional income in between holiday visits.
“Historically, the rental homes on Lubbers Quarters are occupied on average 15 to 20 weeks a year,” Schreiner said.
Located about 20 minutes from Marsh Harbour via taxi and private boat or charter, and a 10-minute boat ride from Hope Town, Lubbers Quarters attracts buyers in search of second homes that offer privacy, convenience, and, most importantly, a lower price tag than Hope Town, one of the strongest markets for high-end vacation homes in Abaco.
“Our value is you pay half the price for twice the house; plus, we’re within a 30-minute boat ride to five different cays,” Schreiner said. “You can head to Hope Town or Marsh Harbour for lunch or dinner and come back to the peaceful ambience of Lubbers.”
And when it comes down to it, Rademaker adds, it’s that authentic sense of peace and tranquility that keeps people returning to The Bahamas time and again.
“The lifestyle we offer is second to none,” Rademaker said. “Between our temperate weather, our proximity to the U.S. and our crystal-clear waters, people from all over the world come here on vacation and decide to make The Bahamas a permanent part of their lives.”
The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has approximately 22,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in over 970 offices in 72 countries and territories worldwide. Each office is independently owned and operated.
Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty has 10 offices located throughout the islands of The Bahamas, providing unsurpassed market knowledge of Abaco, Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Exuma, Nassau, Paradise Island, Ocean Club Estates, Lyford Cay, Old Fort Bay, Albany and Private Islands.