Bermuda Residential Real Estate - Market in TransitionReport by Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty - August 2020
Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty, the largest real estate company in Bermuda, has seen a flood of interest by potential residential property buyers over the past couple months since Phase 4 of Covid 19. Interest has been so keen that recent listings in a variety of price points and market segments have been on the market for only a few days with showings stacked up one after another in some instances to the tune of 24 showings and multiple offers at or in excessive the asking price.
We have seen interest in all segments of the residential sales market from 1 bedroom condos in the low $200,000 range to a sought after luxury waterfront home around the $4 million mark. The individuals purchasing are Bermudians, Bermudians with Non Bermudian Spouses, PRCs, Belongers and Overseas Buyers. In fact, we have one sale currently in contract with an Oversea Buyer that was purchased sight unseen!
The Bermuda economy may be lagging from a public health crisis and months of forced shutdowns/ restrictions, but the housing market has come back strong. Agent, Adam Birch said, “I’ve had more sales showings in the past two weeks of my listings than the first six months of the year combined”.
Our data indicates that our website traffic is up some 30% over the same time last year with more people opting to use desktop devices verses mobile and fewer and fewer using tablets. We are also seeing an increase from US viewers to 32% of the overall traffic. This mirrors what Peter Goodall from Property Skipper has seen on his website. “July was another record month for traffic in Bermuda - climbing 17% over June 2020 and a whopping 41% over July 2019”.
Our overseas Buyer Guide inquiries have increase 7 fold says Susan Thompson, Agency Manager. “Prior to Covid 19 Shelter in Place, we would receive perhaps 2 -3 overseas leads a week, in the past month or so, I am receiving 2 -3 daily. I believe some of this has to do with the 1 Year Residential Certificate, other factors that may be responsible for the uptick is people looking for “safe havens” to live and then finally, there are those sitting at home thinking it would be great to live on an island such as Bermuda.”
“We do not have any empirical evidence of price appreciation at this juncture, but we are seeing stiff competition mainly for properties in desirable neighborhoods, waterfront, properties with pools, views and property in good to excellent condition. Additionally, our data suggests that over 55% of our buyers do not require financing from lending institutions or are financing a very small portion of the purchase which gives them an edge over buyers requiring the traditional 70 – 80% financing”, says Brian Madeiros, President & CEO. “During the last couple of months our market intelligence indicates that we are transitioning from what was a buyer’s market pre Covid to a seller’s market in certain market segments and price points”.
Many of our customers have stated that they were back and forth on whether the timing was right to buy a home, given everything that has happening. The big surprise was they were not alone. One of our customers said, “There were a couple of times when we saw places we really wanted, and they sold before we could act. We were really discouraged by that fact.” The sweet spot in the market seems to be in the $1.25 million to $1.75 million.
Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty Market Updates can be found HERE
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