Barbados’ Real Estate Climate

This global economic climate has proven extremely tough for Barbados real estate. There are more signs than ever before posted on front lawns as homeowners choose to sell their properties for one reason or the other. Some face the reality that their maintenance expenses which were manageable before have now become a burden. Others want to downsize because a house which once held a family of 5 has now become an empty nest with just two parents who are retirees. Others are in financial distress, having taken on too much debt during their lifetime and now they need to liquefy some of their assets.

Nevertheless, there are still buyers in the market, although fewer than before. In order to attract them an owner’s property must be very competitively priced. A house on the market which was once priced at $1 million may now be competing with properties which were $1.5 million. Those who have cash at their disposal are in an optimal position to invest as they can get more bang for their buck. Value for money is the prime objective and unless owners are more open to negotiation they will get left behind.

Like every economic period in history this is just part of a cycle though and we will come out of it sooner or later. To weather the storm property owners have got creative. While awaiting a sale some have put their property on the long term rental market. It’s better to have a house occupied and breathing than leave it vacant where it’s subject to deteriorate faster. Those with investment property on the market for holiday rental purposes have also been more flexible. They offer specials throughout the year, early booking promotions and even advertise it at different prices based on the number of rooms requested. Gone are the days of “This is the price, so take it or leave it.”

Some economists are in favour of the cyclical nature of the economy, believing that it is necessary to maintain balance in the market place. Some of them say it stops prices from getting out of control and levels the playing field. In most instances the sale price has been 20% lower than the listed price. In some instances it has been way higher.

The discerning clientele are still purchasing in the luxury niche but they are investing more carefully. Instead of throwing their money here, there and everywhere, they are even more selective. They carefully conduct their comparative analysis and whereas before they had no qualms about paying close to full price, now they are not afraid to make aggressive offers.

Real estate companies still receive their share of inquiries for the full gamut of property and it is encouraged that in spite of the challenging economic times, people still want to be home owners, they still want to invest and they definitely want to retire.

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