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Sands concerned Bahamians being priced out of real estate market

Inflation, coupled with the high demand for high-end residential dwellings on New Providence, will soon make it nearly impossible for the average Bahamian to afford newly built homes, Bahamian Contractors Association President Leonard Sands charged yesterday.

The construction sector, much like other segments of the economy, has seen prices climb by 40 percent according to some estimates, because of inflation driven by supply chain shortages, among other factors.

Nevertheless, construction has ramped up on the island in the past year, with several medium to large scale developments coming out of the ground.

“Inflation has only slowed down the persons who do not have the money to afford it. But in the local context, it’s further exacerbated because of the demand. So locals will be forced to spend more. Bahamians will be priced out soon. We are sitting on the cusp of New Providence becoming like California, where you can work in the tech industry and you still can’t afford to pay rent, and you’re making six figures. We’re sitting on that cusp,” Sands said.

In July, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate MCR Bahamas Managing Partner Tim Rodland, told Guardian Business that the inventory of high-end real estate – those that start at $750,000 – was diminishing because of the high demand.

Usually these high-end properties are sold to foreign nationals living in The Bahamas.

Pointing to some of the newest residential developments in desirable neighborhoods, Sands said, “They’re starting at $2.6 million. That’s the ground level price, so that inflates everything around it. The buying price is so high, who can afford it?”

Sands questioned what’s left for Bahamians.

“There’s no product in the inner-city communities that people want,” he said, adding that eastern New Providence as little to no available land for continued development.

“This is a discussion that needs to happen, because we need solutions for this or else you will see persons in business suits being homeless. This is what happens in big cities like San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco. You have people who are working and are homeless,” he said.