Monday, May 4, 2009


The media continues to take us on the roller coaster of GOOD news and BAD news again as we are focused on the headlines. The Headlines this week are about The Swine Flu which could turn into a Pandemic and signs of economic recovery for the US. That’s really bad news about the flu, and good news about the economy, but where does that put the Real Estate market in Freeport, Bahamas?

Where ever I travel in Freeport I am always asked the same question. How’s the market? Is there a real estate market in Freeport? Do you have GOOD News or BAD News?

My answer is there is GOOD News and BAD news it’s just a matter of perspective. There are buyers and sellers and the buyers are buying and the sellers are selling. That is GOOD news and BAD news. The GOOD News is that property is selling. The BAD news is that there is not a lot of property selling, but over the last 15 years there has never been a lot of property selling in Freeport. Freeport Real Estate as been consistently slow and steady. It’s always been that way except in the early days of Freeport’s history. Sometimes the local market gets into a minor frenzy of buying when the “BIG” deals that will make Freeport explode are announced only to fizzle out when the deals don’t happen.

If you are a seller you want to know if your property will sell because you know that your neighbor’s property has been on the market for so long that the real estate For sale sign on the front lawn is rusting away. The GOOD news is that yes, You will be able to sell your property for a price that reflects a profit with modest appreciation over the years. Compared to the current US market the modest appreciation is actually a very good return on investment. The BAD news is that you can wait a long time to sell your property. Based on many factors including poor air lift, lack of tourists, a soft economy and a small local population, the market is and always has been relatively slow with a small number of Real Estate transactions every year.

The GOOD news is that there is a buyer for every house and the BAD news is that you have to wait for that unique buyer to appear. Some houses sell in a month and others can take years to sell because there is more supply of homes and raw property than demand… but property does eventually sell for a good price ! So if you are a seller the key word is PATIENCE. Sellers don’t despair.. the buyers are out there but in our small island you have to be prepared to wait it out.

The GOOD news is that Freeport with its proximity to the US, no property tax, low crime, beautiful beaches, gin clear turquoise waters and tremendous infrastructure has HUGE potential. The BAD news is that Freeport is the best kept secret in the Caribbean and has always been the Bridesmaid and never the Bride. As long time Freeport residents know, we are always so close to being discovered with a potential BOOM in the economy and then we take 3 steps backwards. One wonders will Freeport ever fulfill its potential. Well the answer is that it will only take a tiny shift to make a huge impact on the Freeport economy and the local Real Estate Economy.

The Minister of Tourism Vincent Vanderpool Wallace has some great ideas about lowering the cost of airlift and increasing the number of direct flights to the Island from big cities around the world which will make a huge impact on the local Real Estate market because Freeport needs exposure. Most people only know about Nassau, Abaco , Eleuthera and Exuma and have never heard of Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.

It won’t take much to improve our economy and the future could be bright because we truly have the raw potential to becoming a vibrant shining star in the Caribbean. It will take a very small shift and Freeport could reach its potential. We have all waited a long time for the dream and anyone who comes to Freeport recognizes that it is a diamond in the rough and we just need a little polish.

So for buyers the GOOD News is this is a good time to invest in the market because prices have come down and sellers want to sell now more than ever. Sellers just want offers. If you find a property you like make an offer and see what the sellers says. For sellers this is GOOD News because buyers feel that are prices are becoming more reasonable and are starting to make offers and offers are the first start to making a deal. Historically, All properties will sell it’s just a matter of time. If you want to speed up the time lower your price it’s a simple formula. If you are a seller and want to sell listen to the offers that are brought to you. You always have a choice. You can sell or you can wait. It’s your choice.

In life you have to take the GOOD News with the BAD News and find the happy medium. There is always Good News and Bad News but sometimes it’s just a matter of perspective. Good Luck to all you buyers and sellers.

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