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Second home purchases up following tourism boom

Prospective second home buyers have gained confidence in The Bahamas’ tourism market ever since a tourist arrivals boom began last year, and thus have begun to close on properties they plan to use as vacation rentals, co-owner and Vice President of Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty and Lyford Cay Sotheby’s International Realty Lana Rademaker told Guardian Business yesterday.

Rademaker, who has been in the media touting this spin-off business created by a new influx of tourists, said the majority of buyers made the decision to buy based on the market.

She said while those buyers might use the homes 25 percent of the year, the other 75 percent they will place them on the vacation home real estate market.

“The majority of our buyers now, that’s the goal of their purchase,” she said.

“Instead of what it was a couple years ago, just a vacation home and they would use it on and off throughout the year, the majority of them who are finally making a decision now, it’s for personal use and the other 75 percent of the year for renting out for short-term vacation rental.”

Rademaker said the most popular areas for buyers have been Hope Town, Treasure Cay, Governor’s Harbour, Spanish Wells and Harbour Island.

The Ministry of Tourism’s recent statistics revealed that for January 2019 stopover visitors to The Bahamas increased by 28.8 percent compared to 2018. The numbers to New Providence alone increased by 33 percent.

The Family Islands have not been left behind in the growth, as Grand Bahama saw a 14.6 percent increase in stopover arrivals; Abaco a 19.4 percent increase; Eleuthera a 37 percent increase; and Exuma an increase of 27 percent.

The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation revealed earlier this year that The Bahamas experienced record-breaking visitor numbers in 2018.

According to data from the Central Bank of The Bahamas, the number of tourists using vacation home rentals has seen a continued, steady increase.

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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