Updated: Sep 21, 2021 8:03 AM
Demand from tenants for residential rental properties exceeds supply, a real estate agent has revealed.
Adam Birch of Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty said: “As an agent, my rental inventory tends to fluctuate around 15 listings at any given time, sometimes reaching 20 and rarely, if ever, below 10.
“Right now I have about five rental listings. New listings are renting fairly quickly across the board and I need new inventory to meet current demand from qualified tenants.
Writing in the agency’s September rental newsletter, Mr Birch added, “Since the first foreclosure ended in 2020, the rental market has exploded. Instantly there was a demand for home offices, interior spaces, large yards, swimming pools, apartments.
“The demand for this equipment and more has led to a series of bidding wars across the island – particularly in the high end of the market.”
Besides families simply needing more space, he said other factors contributing to the demand for rental properties included the government’s “Work from Bermuda” program which encouraged foreign “digital nomads” to move to the area. island, start-ups in need of personnel. housing, moves from Bermuda, an active home sales market and the number of people renovating or expanding existing homes.
Mr Birch said “singles, couples and even entire families” were interested in living on the island and working remotely, adding: “In August / September 2020 we had a small influx of” nomads digital “looking for eight months to one-year leases.
He said startups in the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of this year were interested in Hamilton apartments and mid-to-high-end rentals, adding, “Demand has exceeded supply in the region. point that at the beginning of 2021, there was no luxury. rentals to be found as they have all been successfully rented. We are still seeing the effects of this demand today.
Mr Birch added: ‘We have seen a number of Bermudians in their 30s and 40s with families decide to move to Bermuda during the pandemic to be with loved ones and enjoy remote working.
“Bermuda being relatively Covid-free as opposed to the cities it emigrated from: London, New York, LA, etc., made Bermuda attractive. This certainly added to the increased demand in the middle ($ 5,000 to $ 8,000) of the market. “
He added that an active residential sales market has affected some tenants, saying: “We have tenants whose leases are expiring and who have found themselves unable to extend the lease as the new landlords expected a possession. vacant at closing because they wanted to live in the houses. “
Mr Birch said an increase in demand for renovating and expanding existing homes has also put pressure on the rental market, adding: “Those who renovate need a place to live temporarily.
“For the first half of 2021, we were inundated with people looking for short-term rentals from three to six months, which impacts an already active market. “
The agent said room rentals in the $ 1,800 to $ 2,500 range “are always in demand if they are modern and in a good neighborhood.” These continue to rent.
He added that two-bedroom rentals in the $ 3,000 to $ 4,000 range are requested by local families and newcomers to the island.
Mr. Birch said three-bedroom rentals in the $ 5,000 to $ 8,000 range “are in high demand. We recently listed a property for $ 7,000 and had several offers at asking price and above in the days following listing. This is the price range where we absolutely need more inventory.
Rentals between $ 8,000 and $ 30,000, considered the high end and luxury market, “have been extremely active,” Mr. Birch said, adding, “If the price is right, these properties don’t stay long. on the market and tend to be rented in as little as seven days and some never make it to the open market as there is a list of tenants waiting.
Mr. Birch said Hamilton apartments are popular again.
“City apartments were not in high demand for the end of 2020 and until 2021, as it’s understandable that working from home in a city apartment was not ideal. Travel being limited, we didn’t see many new expats looking for these turnkey city apartments.
“As 2021 moved into the summer, the city market has definitely picked up. We quickly re-rent them within one to two weeks instead of one to two months.
Adam Birch of Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty (file photo)