Unlike the aftermath of the financial crisis of September 2009, where we had weak fundamentals and luxury buyers disappeared, the opposite has occurred, with luxury and other buyers remaining in the game and continuing to shop and purchase real estate.
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands (PRWEB) July 16, 2020
In late March, our world, and everything in it, came to a screeching halt, as Turks & Caicos Islands closed its borders to tourists and visitors through the end of June. Resorts, restaurants, airports and businesses closed and real estate deals, after a strong Q1, were either canceled or deferred.
However, unlike the aftermath of the financial crisis of September 2009, where we had weak fundamentals and luxury buyers disappeared, the opposite has occurred, with luxury and other buyers remaining in the game and continuing to shop and purchase real estate. Reports from our Sotheby’s International Realty network echo similar strength and trends in the US and Canada, and many countries internationally In this regard, our market demand has shown much greater resilience and further, there has not been a flight to list property. So far, at least, our market has backed up prior assertions that we are stronger and fundamentally healthier. There are several reasons for this. First, we do not have an oversupply of inventory; second, we have very few speculators in the market; third, our debt–to–equity ratio is very low; fourth, throughout North America and beyond, there has been a COVID-19 surge to quality, open space and “safe” havens, and TCI checks all of these boxes. Finally, and most importantly, we continue to work diligently to communicate and serve our clients and customers. From our regular virtual internal team meetings to participation in Industry Zoom conferences, and virtual showings with customers and clients across the globe, we have placed quality communication at the forefront. In this regard, it is inspiring that we feel more connected with our network, team and community than ever.
How are people purchasing during this time period? The answers exist in the various applications of technology available to us, such as the creative use of Matterport 3D technology, showcased within this Market Report, as well as simple narrated Face Time tours, videos, our signature high caliber photography, third party expert inspections, effective documentation and diligent agent, broker and legal follow up. Consumers are searching Google for virtual reality tours like never before, as evidenced by a 101% increase in video viewership on sothebysrealty.com and a 137% increase in video viewership on our Sotheby’s International Realty YouTube channel and increased activity with our third-party website partners like The New York Times and Mansion Global. As you may have read in recent weeks, virtual buying is now a ‘thing’, and COVID-19 will forever change our industry in this regard. While more and more buyers will continue to shop online, the use of more effective virtual showings can shrink the timeline for purchase and greatly educate buyers so that they can either make a purchase decision remotely or are primed to purchase with fewer physical showings required. This is happening all over the Sotheby’s International Realty network, from the Hamptons and Connecticut, Miami and the Caribbean, to renowned ski towns across America. This is great news for our industry and this trend will lead to greater sales and reduced days on market.
This second quarter marked Significant Sales including the listing and sale of Bajacu listed at 18.8M, Dream Big Villa at 5.75M, Cerulean at 4.8M, and the sale of a Leeward beach parcel at 8.5M. along with a wider range of stand-alone villas, managed villas, condos (where inventory remains tight), commercial property and land. We would be remiss if we failed to mention that the Turks & Caicos Government’s stimulus of providing a 50% reduction in stamp duty through June 30 was highly effective, with $70M in closed business in June alone.
Finally, our hearts, minds and spirit go out to all who have been so profoundly impacted by the pandemic. While we long for normalcy, we know that this just isn’t in the cards in the short–term, so we adjust to our new normal. On July 22, our borders joyfully re-open to the world, with new entry requirements noted on the following page of this report. You will also note a link to the TCI Food Drive within this report and we invite you to contribute. We will soon be announcing an exciting fundraising partnership with United Way TCI to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in our community until we are able to get fully back to work.
We hope to see you on island very soon, and until then… be well!