27 Jun 2011Blog

Is it still a buyer’s market?

by Island Gold Realty Ltd.

Is it still a buyer’s market? Well I am here to tell you beyond any shadow of a doubt,” it very much IS still a buyer’s market.”

Historically, recessions along with oversupply in the market place have contributed to conditions favouring a purchaser; however, that is not always the case and it really depends on what it is you are in the market to buy.

Across the board, worldwide, sub-prime properties are in oversupply; we are no exception here in Barbados, in fact the supply on the island in almost every price bracket far outstrips the demand. Some addresses have not seen the sobering in price that others have been subjected to and as such, for the most part, income producing real estate has still held it’s value because it is able to pay the carrying costs of the property whilst the capital appreciation cannot be realized, consequently this allows the owner to ride out the proverbial ‘storm. ‘

So what defines income producing real estate? Quite simply it is any property on the island that can rent (residentially or commercially) long or short term; best example of that of course is beachfront property or very near to the beach or properties with amenities such as golf courses, tennis courts, etc

Good examples of beachfront include:

Ocean 1 & 2
The Palisades
Atlantic Shores Beachfront Property
Sapphire Beach
Ocean Reef
Seafoam Haciendas
Sandy Hook

Good examples of Golf course and centrally located properties include:

Rockley Golf & Country Club
El Sol Sureno
Gunsite Townhouses
Ft. George Heights
Durants (specifically around the golf course)

Of course, we are not all in the market for income producing real estate!!! Most of the middle class of Barbados are quite simply looking for a home; as stated above it couldn’t be a better time to buy: however, there are still challenges on the island primarily with regard to lending institutions and banks.

Simply put, inspite of lower interest rates banks are now subjecting would-be borrowers to a scrutinizing process that has yet to be seen on the island. All valuations are subject to at least two examples in the nearby environs as precedent even if there is no accurately comparative properties, indemnity insurance and negotiation fees are at all time high and lending ratios are grossly unfair.

Some of my clients compare the entire experience to that of being treated by a slightly constipated proctologist!!!

Seriously though, it is understandable that Barbadian banks have no interest in getting themselves into a situation like the American banks did a few years ago (The Global Competitive Report 2010-2011 produced by the World Economic Forum ranked Barbados as 12th in the world) and with good reason but this is an extremists approach to be sure. Central Bank regulations dictate that local commercial banks are not allowed to take a large percentage of deposits off the island; this translates to a huge amount of capital reserves that could be available to all Barbadians and indeed non-nationals who are seeking financing.

Banking product on the island HAS to improve if the economy has any chance of a timely recovery; Banks in Barbados are accustomed to a VERY conservative approach and as such are just as conservative themselves. What’s the solution? Perhaps a more dynamic banking product offered by local commercial Banks!!!

YES it is still a Buyers market and I dare say it will be one for some time to come, but unfortunately the only buyers who are poised with an advantage are those with cash or who have an extremely good relationship with their bank manager!!!

I have such a relationship with MY bankers; I cautiously offer their contact information for all those who are seeking a similar relationship; feel free to give me a call to discuss your requirements.