Estate agent: Demand for house rentals has skyrocketed – The Royal Gazette

Updated: Sep 21, 2021 8:03 AM

Tenant demand 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 hitting 20 and rarely, if ever, below 10.

“Right now, I have about five rental listings. New listings are renting out fairly quickly across the board, and I need new inventory to meet the current demand for qualified tenants.”

Writing in the agency’s September rentals newsletter, Mr Birch added: ‘Since the end of the first lockdown in 2020, the rental market has exploded. Instantly there was a demand for home offices, indoor space, large yards, swimming pools, apartments.

“The demand for these amenities and more has led to a series of bidding wars across the island – especially at the higher end of the market.”

Besides families simply needing more space, he said other factors are contributing to the demand for rental properties, including the government’s ‘Work from Bermuda’ scheme which encourages foreign ‘digital nomads’ to move in. on the island, start-ups in need of staff. housing, Bermudians moving, an active home sales market and the number of people renovating or extending existing homes.

Mr Birch said ‘singles, couples and even whole 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-month to one-year leases.

He said start-ups in the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of this year were interested in apartments in Hamilton and mid- and high-end rentals, adding: ‘Demand has exceeded supply at the point where at the start of 2021 there were no luxury rentals to be found as they had all been successfully let. We still see the effects of this demand today.

Mr Birch added: “We have seen a number of Bermudians in their 30s and 40s with families deciding to move to Bermuda during the pandemic to be with their loved ones and take advantage of remote working.

“Bermuda being relatively Covid-free as opposed to the cities they were migrating from: London, New York, Los Angeles, etc., made Bermuda attractive. This certainly added to the increase in demand in the middle ($5,000-$8,000) of the market.

He added that an active residential sales market has affected some tenants, saying: “We have tenants with expiring leases who have not found themselves able to extend the lease because the new landlords were expecting a vacant possession at closing as they wanted to live in the houses.”

Mr Birch said an increase in demand for renovations and extensions to existing homes had also put pressure on the rental market, adding: ‘Those who are renovating need a place to live temporarily.

“For the first half of 2021, we have been inundated with people looking for short-term rentals from three to six months, impacting an already active market.”

The agent said one-bedroom rentals in the $1,800 to $2,500 range “are always in demand if they’re 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 in demand 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 received several offers at and above the asking price within days of listing. This is the price range where we absolutely need more inventory.

Rentals in the $8,000 to $30,000 range, considered the high-end and luxury market, “have been extremely active,” Mr. Birch said, adding: “If valued correctly, these properties will not don’t stay on the market long and tend to be rented out in just as short a time. like seven days and some never reaching the open market because there is a list of tenants waiting.

Mr Birch said apartments in Hamilton were popular again.

“City apartments were not in high demand towards the end of 2020 and into 2021, as it is understandable that working from home in a city apartment was not ideal. With travel being limited, we weren’t seeing many new expats looking for these turnkey city apartments.

“As 2021 moved into summer, the city market definitely picked up. We are back to quickly renting them again within 1-2 weeks instead of 1-2 months.

Adam Birch, of Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty (File photo)

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