1-Oak Bahamas CEO and Real Estate Agent, Matt Sweeting says the Bahamas real estate industry has rebounded from contractions during the pandemic but financing remains a challenge.
Sweeting explained, “I think there were some forced contractions around COVID, right, people did not have the ability to purchase in addition to the fact that that created a lot of awareness around the desire, the need for your own space. I think those are driving market and interest. But again, we also see you know with The Bahamas being largely tourism focused is that tourism made a big bounce back as well. And so we’d reasoned that those people now have more discretionary income, their income is a lot more consistent and so a lot of the interest and movement we’re seeing on the market is a direct correlation to economies that have rebounded considerably.”
Sweeting also spoke of the challenges in obtaining financing. He said, “lenders want to see two years plus of consistent income generation. And so again whilst we’re nearing that timeline now some people have this gap of income that’s making it more challenging. One of things that adding another element to the challenge of getting financing is the Bahamas Credit Bureau and that lending institutions are seeing this as a means to help someone get qualified. One of the stories I heard recently was a divorced person signed on a consumer loan with their now ex-spouse she cannot get a mortgage even though she has the employment, even though she has the tenure but that loan is now tied to her credit report which is now prohibiting her from getting a mortgage today. And so I think that is one of the challenges we’re seeing more often than not in people obtaining home ownership in 2023.”