Wednesday, October 9, 2019
By Youri Kemp
A leading realtor has warned New Providence does not have the inventory to meet demand from Abaco evacuees looking for rental properties.
Mario Carey, president of Better Homes and Gardens, told Tribune Business: "We continue to get a steady demand for rentals we just cannot fulfil, along with Nassau rentals not being cheap at the same time. What we have now is limited supply and things that are simply not affordable.
"We get demand for properties under $2000 a month every day that what we cannot fulfil."
In the wake of Dorian Carey had earlier floated earlier the idea of using foreclosed homes as affordable rental units in order to in order to help displaced families.
"Pushing this initiative is time consuming but we are making decent strides and getting a lot of positive feedback," he said.
In comparison, Carey said he believes a suggestion by Bahamas Real Estate Association president, Christine Wallace-Whitfield - that families could be "paired" into a single property was not an attractive option.
He asked: "Would it be comfortable to begin pairing two families who may not know each other or people who may not feel comfortable with each other, ask them to share food and share space and abide by one another's personal rules and standards.
"It is not sustainable. It is a good idea, but it requires people to work together. But from my experience I feel people are best suited in their own space."
Carey also told Tribune Business some Abaco businesses are now looking to rent commercial space in Nassau to restart their businesses and that his agents are starting to see a lot of inquiries.
Carey says that he expects this high demand to go on for at least two years.
Tribune Business also asked Carey about alleged "property vultures" descending on Abaco.
"We see some, but surprisingly not as many as we thought we might have seen," he said.
"I think the stories have gone out that they have been identified as vultures, but really they are just people looking for an affordable land deal, particularly residential land on the beachfront."
Carey continued: "We want to wait for sellers to be in a good position to make sound decisions when and if they do decide that they want to sell. Don't forget that people are still in shock and it's hard for them to make wise decisions at this time. There are so many people trying to make money off of this tragedy, and when it comes to these property vultures we just tell them, no we are not interested."