'Meet the Valuer' - Steve Bowie from Bermuda Valuers and Appraisers

This month for 'Meet the Agent' we interview Steve Bowie, a Registered Chartered Valuation Surveyor at Bermuda Valuers and Appraisers (BV&A). Steve discusses his independent valuation practice he set up in 2020 with business partner Suzanne Stones, where he is seeing activity in the property market at the moment and some excellent tips for home owners preparing to put their property on the market.

How long have you been in the business? I have been in the Real Estate Market since 1986, based in London, Botswana and am now in my eleventh year of providing advice in property in Bermuda.

Tell us about BV&A? In the summer of 2020 I set up Bermuda Valuers and Appraisers (BV&A) with my business Partner, Suzanne Stones. We are both Registered Chartered Valuation Surveyors, with a combined Bermuda valuation experience of over 22 years. Whilst we are in constant contact with agents and landlords alike, BV&A is a completely Independent Valuation Practice, with no agency conflicts or management distractions. This has enabled us to concentrate on the property market giving not only capital valuations but also rental advice across the whole property spectrum, including commercial, residential and agricultural. Since opening we have valued in excess of 2,000,000 sqft of property, worth over $800,000,000, with every report being drafted / counter signed by both of valuers.  We are on the valuation panels of all four Bermuda banks as well as numerous Trust Companies, lawyers and accountants.  See www.valuation.bm for more information.

Where are you seeing activity in the market now and in the future? We like many property professionals had foreseen a negative impact on the market following the COVID Pandemic, but we were delighted when the exact opposite appeared to happen, with, it seems, people looking to live and work in a ‘safe’ island environment. Since then prices have risen for most types of residential properties, with the exception of large properties in need of a lot of work / expense. The condominium market has been affected by the recent implementation of The Economic Investment Certificate policy which has massively reduced the level of available inventory for non-Bermudian purchasers.

The most active sections of the residential market are the middle to upper ones, with healthy competition for those house on the market at between $2,500,000 and $5,000,000. We believe that this has been fueled by the establishment of the BOTC category allowing this new group of individuals to purchase homes. On average it takes around a year to obtain this status, hence the recent increase in activity as those successful in gaining this certification enter the market. We have also seen an increase in the middle to upper level residential rental market, as executives have made the decision to work and live in Bermuda, with there families rather than fly home to them at the weekend. We see both rentals and capital values continuing to rise in the foreseeable future as individuals compete for space making it a landlord’s / sellers market, with multiple bids coming in for homes which are correctly priced. We are also aware of a number of luxury sales of substantial residential properties on the island with prices in excess of $7m

Commercially the office sectors around the western end of Front Street and the eastern end of Pitts Bay Road, continues to strengthen as the migration of companies to this location continues, which is also attracting companies new to Bermuda. 

Do you have any good tips for sellers preparing to sell their home to maximise its value? Three key points to consider:

1) Curb appeal of a property – first impressions count. A well-manicured garden and a tidy entry lobby are so important. A prospect will remember the negatives much quicker than the positives so put them in the right mood from the get go! If you have a sea view, make sure the trees are trimmed and any water access is unimpeded.

2) Commission an appraisal to help set the list price. Properties that are priced appropriately tend to sell a lot quicker than those which are over priced.

3) My third tip would be to hire an agent who you trust. Be prepared to interview them and make sure you get a good feel for them – you are trusting this person with your home and you need to get on well with them. Listen to the agent and take on board their advice and consider a price reduction if the property has had limited interest in the first couple of months. 

Finally if you are planning to renovate / extend or even build your own home, have an appraiser advise you as to the value of the finished product to ensure that you are not “over developing the property”. 

To Contact Steve, E-mail: steve@valuation.bm
Phone: 531 1964 or Visit: www.valuation.bm 
Facebook: @bermudavaluers
Instagram: @bermudavaluers


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