Categorized | National News

Crime Impacting House Sales

Homeowners in crime hot spot areas are going to have a tough time selling their homes, according to a leading realtor, who says some buyers are reluctant to shell out big bucks to buy lots and houses in crime ridden areas.

“Crime is a big factor in these areas. People are trying to sell these homes, but I don’t think anybody wants to go into the heart of where all of these murders and killings have been going on. They would try to avoid these places like the plague even though there are some good homes and good people living in these areas,” said former President of Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) William Wong, who is also the president of William Wong & Associates.

“It’s unfortunate that they’re stuck there and trying to find a buyer for their home is very unlikely.”

Numerous murders have occurred in the Pinewood Gardens, Kemp Road and Nassau Village areas in recent years.

But, despite those areas’ poor reputation, there are still some people who want to live in and can afford to buy homes in those neighbourhoods.

“They have no other choice; they can’t afford the multi-million dollar home or the $150,000 lot. This fits their budget,” Mr. Wong said.

Asked if house hunters have more negotiating power when dealing with homes in crime hot spots, Mr. Wong said, “For houses in those areas that are troubled people would be, I think, very eager to take a reasonable offer. I don’t think they’ll take a loss, but they would certainly get something out of the sale of the home.”

The realtor also noted that he has seen many Bahamians gravitating toward gated communities.

“They feel a level of security there and that’s where people seem to want to go – the gated communities, where they have a gate; they have security. But, then again, is any place safe in Nassau?” he said.

He said foreign investors have also tested realtors to see if they would be honest about the country’s crime situation.

“A foreign investor knows the answer pretty much, but they want to know if we are going to be honest with them and we say, ‘well, crime is a bit on the high side in this area, maybe you should look here instead of here’,” he said.

“We are living in some really troubling times. Crime is on everybody’s tongue; they are afraid. They are afraid of what’s going on in this country, they don’t feel safe.”

Mr. Wong said crime has not only affected realtors, but businesspersons as well. He said a Potter’s Cay Dock conch vendor recently lamented that many Bahamians are reluctant to hang out after work anymore.

“He said, ‘Mr Wong, business is bad. Nobody wants to come out. I go home early now, people used to stop by and have a beer after work, nobody comes by’. Business is bad, he says. And this is a conch man. This is how crime affects, not just the big business, but the small business; restaurants are suffering, small bars are suffering, the movie theatre is suffering. People don’t want to go out; they are afraid to go out because they might get caught in the crossfire. Then they go home and people accost them on their doorsteps. So, people are taking every precaution possible.”

“They’re not doing that now. They’re afraid some idiot is going to stop by and start shooting.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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