What impact is the changing land policy likely to have on the local Real Estate market?

New Government land policies, announced last week, in the form of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2015, will expand the ability of Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC) Holders and Non-Bermudians to purchase property in Bermuda. The legislation includes removing the ARV threshold at which PRC Holders may purchase property and lowering the ARV threshold for non-Bermudian purchasers. The act will allow non-Bermudians to own or have beneficial interest in two properties and PRC Holders will be permitted to rent out that property without requiring a permit to do so. (Further details and analysis of the new act are set out in ‘Legal Landscape’ with Marshall Diel & Myers Limited).

Propertyskipper spoke with Penny MacIntyre, Partner & Executive Vice President at Rego Sotheby’s International Realty on what impact this changing policy is likely to have on the local Real Estate market.

Rego Sotheby's International Realty tracks the volume and dollar prices of real estate sales island wide and note the steep declines in real estate sale and rental prices ranging anywhere between 20-30% less off their 2008 prices.  

Partner and EVP, Penny MacIntyre:  "Every day for the last 8 years, sellers and landlords struggle to sell their property or rent their apartments or homes -- often taking longer to find a buyer or tenant and certainly at a financial loss.  The new land policies are aimed at improving the opportunity for Bermudian owners to sell or rent their real estate instead of being strapped with an asset they can't afford or maintain.  The hope is to encourage inward investment by a population that already lives and works here and adds to the community's economy as the PRC's do. The international investment confidence needs to be restored so buyers are not put off by the fluctuations in ARV where their property which was once available internationally then falls out without real justification. This island has an abundance of property that needs buyers and buyers need to have confidence in Bermuda and their investment. We along with property owners await to hear if these proposed land policy changes become official following presentation to the House."

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