Categorized | National News

Real Estate Market Remains “Challenging”- -Banks Reluctant To Lend

The Bahamas’ struggling real estate market is still facing many challenges, according to a former Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) president, who says local banks are still reluctant to lend out money.

With hundreds of homeowners in foreclosure and many more on the brink of being foreclosed on, lenders have been reticent to turn on the money faucet to its customers.

“Everyone seems to be holding on to their money, including the banks. The banks have a lot of money; they’re just not letting it out because they are afraid that the people they are lending the money to won’t have the jobs to pay the loans,” said William Wong, president of William Wong & Associates Realty, who explained why banking institutions have been so cautious.

“That’s why you see all of these big ads with houses for sale. They don’t want to add anymore to their inventory, so whoever they lend the money to has to have a triple ‘A’ credit rating.”

“And, I think with a lot of Bahamians out of work right now it’s difficult for them to find loans, so you find a lot of people are moving back in with their parents. People are going back home and cutting out expenses to save money.”

He continued, “This is a worldwide problem. Spain, Lisbon, Europe they are all in a deep recession and those people are spending money there they are not coming here. But, we just need to keep on pushing and wait until this thing blows over.”

Mr. Wong said while there are still people with money “they seem to be very hesitant to spend it.”

He also noted that properties in downtown Nassau don’t seem to be moving quickly.

“I was driving down Bay Street the other day and I saw a sign for a store for rent. I had never seen that before. Stores on Bay Street always seem to get top priority. But, I saw a couple of buildings for rent. I said this is strange because you’d see most people gobble up that kind of space before it even went on market,” he said.

Rogan Smith

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