“Tides Are Shifting” With Real Estate In Bermuda

July 21, 2015

The “tides are shifting with regards to real estate in Bermuda,” Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty said, with the company having experienced a 44% increase in the number of transactional sales units they were involved in during the first half of 2015, as compared to the same period last year.

This was contained in the latest issue of their newsletter [PDF] which said, “Bermuda housing statistics often offer a glimpse into the health of the Islands economy and the activities of businesses and residents.

Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty has some new data that shows the real estate market is starting to mimic the summer weather conditions…. Hot!

“It is exciting to see the renewed interest and confidence in real estate with a cautious return to stable prices; multiple offers; and in some cases buyers looking to purchase for investment.

“In this resurging market, a little bit of everything is selling…single family homes, duplexes, multiple family dwellings, land, commercial property and condos. It might come as a surprise to many that condos are outselling all other categories of real estate, but at over 1/3 of available inventory condos offer some great options for many segments of the market.

“Condos sold recently include units ranging from a $199,000 Harbour View Village unit to The Wharf at $1,200,000. Analysis shows that the average price of a condo based on sold properties registered in Government records for 2015 is around $590,000.

“Single family homes are always in demand with the central parishes commanding higher prices. Currently, this segment of the market represents 28% of sales year to date with the average price of approximately $1,230,000.”

“While previously reported that land sales were lagging, we have seen some movement in this segment of the market. In 2012 & 2013 approximately 20 undeveloped lots sold each year; however in 2014 this dropped to 8.

“Our market intelligence indicates that approximately half a dozen residential lots have sold thus far in 2015, but it is interesting to note that there are currently 10x that number of undeveloped residential lots on the market.

“This indicates an excess supply of available inventory making it a great time to be looking for lots if you are preapproved and looking to build your dream home.

“A reminder to those looking to purchase land, the lending requirements are different for land than for residential housing. Typically, a 20 – 25% down payment is required for a house or condo versus a 50% down payment required for land.

“Much to the delight of buyers looking for a deal in the market, we have seen more “fixer uppers” come onto the market in recent months.

“While it is always key to obtain pre-approvals in advance, if you are purchasing a property that requires major renovations or completion to occupancy, you will need to qualify for the additional funds to complete. So, to avoid disappointment, make sure your lender knows what you wish to purchase in advance if making an offer on property in unlivable condition.

“Residential rentals appear to be following the same trend as the sales market although available data is not as robust. Our rental agents report that rental demand for standalone cottages and houses in central parishes is outstripping supply and they are looking for new inventory.

“Prices have stabilized, when looking at rentals on average you can expect to pay: 1 bedroom $2,000; 2 bedroom $3,100 and 3 bedroom $4,550+ depending on location and condition of the property.

“In conclusion, it is fair to say that the tides are shifting with regards to real estate in Bermuda. Evidence shows that in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period for 2014 Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty experienced a 44 % increase in the number of transactional sales units they were involved in and a 17% increase in the number of properties the Company rented. Coldwell Banker

“This translates to a busier, more active market even though the dollar volume of sales Island wide has not shifted significantly. These are encouraging signs that the real estate market in Bermuda is showing positive signs of recovery.

“As we look at the commercial market, thus far in 2015 we have seen 4 closed commercial sales with 5 additional transactions in the works. If we compare this with recent years, 2012 – 6; 2013 – 8 and 2014 – 9, it looks promising that the commercial market will outperform the last four years.”

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Comments (14)

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  1. Jeremy Deacon says:

    44percent. sounds good – what are the actual numbers?

  2. Raymond Ray says:

    Now that’s great news!

  3. Starting Point says:

    Shhhhh we don’t want to hear anything positive about the economy right now….

    • Coffee says:

      The positive is that there is tons of real estate for sale , the hidden positives are two or three-fold , many forclosures , many can’t afford anymore because of stagnant economy and thirdly , cannot raise/save for down payment . Let’s look on the bright side shall we ?

      • aceboy says:

        Your buddy Col. Burch thought all those for sale signs were a good idea when they started to go up. It made him “smile”. Remember?

  4. Average Bermudian says:

    And the average Bermudian still can’t afford these prices.

  5. Coffee says:

    Who is buying ?

    • David says:

      Who is selling.. why does it matter

    • Sickofantz says:

      I reckon PRC’s and Expats because the market has expanded in terms of the numbers and range of properties they can buy.

      Personally that false blip aside I can’t see how the property market can rebound with the economy still in the trouble it is and no hope of recovery.

  6. Blueberry Bangbelly says:

    Fixer uppers are on the market because sellers can’t afford to make them turn-key before listing. Condos are out-selling, because they are less expensive. Building lots are a great way for folks with money to make more money. Sorry, but this is pretty-much just spin…

  7. watching says:

    Anyone who purchased before 2011 is likely screwed because prices have depreciated by hundreds of thousands.

    • Be Realistic says:

      Remember that if you are looking to sell, yes, prices are lower but the flip side is that whatever you wish to purchase also has a lower asking price….silver linings!

      • FYI says:

        Yes, this is true if what you are selling is paid off or has minimal debt. It’s not helpful if you’ve lost all the equity into the home due the fall of the housing market. In some instances to sell now puts you at a loss.

  8. Triangle Drifter says:

    Athough this is good news the visual I am getting is the stern of the Titanic hanging, seemingly about to stay afloat, before it plummeted to the depths with the forward part of the ship.

    Vote PLP back in in 2017 & it will happen.

    Gawd I hope I am wrong.