Business

$500k to $1.5 mil market poised to see uptick, real estate broker says

With the luxury real estate market already booming, despite COVID-19, a top real estate broker said he foresees an uptick in the more affordable $500,000 to $1.5 million high end market in the coming months as word spreads about the appeal of living in The Bahamas.

Jim Bernard, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Bahamas Real Estate – the newest real estate merger between the fast growing worldwide brokerage franchise network and LX Bahamas Luxury Realty Group, said he doesn’t see the market losing momentum anytime soon.

“COVID has actually been positive on the real estate market here,” he said in an interview with Guardian Business.

“We’ve seen a very strong market, really since the third quarter of 2020, mainly focused on the high ends or the $1.5 million-plus market. We saw many families moving here during the pandemic and renting luxury homes, initially. A lot of those clients, after they came here and settled and realized the quality of life that The Bahamas offers, decided to plant roots here and purchase homes.

“So, we saw a lot of those initial renters turn into buyers, and that really started to boom the third quarter of 2020 and it’s been strong ever since.

“The luxury inventory here is actually quite thin while demand is still high; and the way I see it, going into the future is, I think, the more affordable market, the $500,000 to $1.5 million market, is going to flourish as well as word spreads about the quality of life The Bahamas has to offer. It’s just a wonderful place to live, work and play, and I think that as word spreads, we’re going to see that segment of the market boom as well.”

Real estate professionals have estimated that close to $400 million worth of property was sold or went under contract in the first quarter of 2021 and that transactions nearly doubled compared to pre-COVID activities.

Bernard pointed to several new high-end developments under construction he said will fill in those spaces for inventory needed from demand in the industry.

“We are seeing quite a bit of new developments coming on stream. As you go along Bay Street, you’ve got West End, you’ve got The Rise, The Pointe, we have the Hurricane Hole development as well as Aqualina, so we are seeing a lot of new development coming on stream, which is important because we need product and inventory, especially at the high end,” he said.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices announced its merger with LX Bahamas Luxury Realty last week noting that it has aligned with best-in-class technology platforms to deliver world-class support to its network members far into the future.

Bernard said access to top tier technology, including its “FOREVER Cloud” technology suite and Real Estate IQ system, is expected to place his company as a leader in the luxury market.

“We plan to leverage the marketing and technology tools to better service all of our clients,” he said.

“Our long-term goal has always been to build the number one real estate brokerage in The Bahamas, so joining Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has, I feel, taken us off the road and placed us on the express way in fulfilling that dream.

“We will continue to offer white glove service to our clients. We’ve always gone above and beyond to service our clients and our goal is not only to complete the current transaction but to build a strong and lasting relationship with our clients.”

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is a global residential real estate brokerage franchise network with more than 50,000 real estate professionals and nearly 1,500 offices throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and India.

In 2020, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices global network represented more than $138 billion in real estate sales volume, the company said.

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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