After weeks of petitioning, real estate companies are now allowed to operate based on the newest amendments to the emergency powers regulations.
Last month, Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) President Christine Wallace-Whitfield said many critical transactions were left hanging in the balance since the industry was not deemed essential and was unable to operate, since the start of the public state of emergency in March, however yesterday she said the industry was thankful and elated by the government’s relaxation of restrictions on the sector.
“We are absolutely elated and thankful that the prime minister and his teams have allowed us to open up the real estate sector and feel this is a great step towards bringing the economy back up. I also feel this has lifted the spirits of our agents and brokers, who have been waiting so patiently to continue assisting their customers and clients,” she said in a written response to Guardian Business.
“Real estate is a business where each
individual has to make his or her own ‘hustle’, so to speak. We are not a salaried-type industry and are basically working on commission only, so it is difficult when our business has to go on hold or temporarily stop for this horrible pandemic we are all experiencing globally.
“We are thankful and commend the prime minister and government for taking the necessary measures to protect the country and are just grateful that he has listened to our plea to open our sector, with of course the proper health guidelines and protocols to be implemented for our members.”
The Emergency Powers (COVID 19) (No.3) (Amendment) Order, signed and dated May 20, allows for real estate agencies to operate Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Last month, Wallace-Whitfield said the revenue via value-added tax from real estate transactions would be a huge source of income for the government during this rocky economic period.
She added that the industry would ensure agents and brokers operate under very strict protocols and guidelines.