Terra Caribbean - Blog

Th Red Book 2013 - Welcome

Thursday, April 11, 2013 | By Andrew Mallalieu
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The annual event of writing an introduction for The Red Book is always filled with trepidation for me. I do not want to over build expectations and then disappoint, nor do I want to fail to introduce the articles in an exciting way. What to do? Risk behind every door. But that is our world today. Every time I think the market has found a direction, there seems to be a further shift. Recently I read that an engineer does not see the glass as half full like the optimist, nor half empty like the pessimist, but rather as a design that is twice as big as it needed to be. I learnt from this that I need to adjust my expectations and face the reality of our market. The half full glass tells us nothing of our future but only of our present. So that is what I hope we will do for you – provide you with an accurate picture of the real estate market in Barbados at present. Whether you are the optimist, the pessimist or the engineer, you will have the data that you need to reach a conclusion.

As estate agents we live in a world driven by transactions. Uncertainty is the enemy of decision-making and hence transactions. The current market requires risk takers to make bold decisions in the face of uncertainty. I have spent most of my life in competitive motor sport and often I am told that race drivers are brave because it is a dangerous sport. I do not agree. Most drivers are confident of the safety measures built into their cars and they make an educated decision based on skill level. Bravery is to face grave risk with an uncertain outcome. In my opinion, one needs not be brave in today’s market in Barbados.  One only needs to make an educated decision about the risk. For purchasers making an acquisition for long-term enjoyment or return, they will find significant opportunities in today’s market. Those purchasers looking for a quick “buck” are likely to be disappointed.  We face a new reality in the Barbados market and I believe that the pricing adjustment has been made and will not quickly return to pre 2008 pricing levels. We are on a path of slow steady returns more in keeping with the rates in the 1990’s rather than the “irrational exuberance” of the early 2000’s.

This year I am so pleased that Sir Anthony and Lady Bamford agreed to share their experience of owning property in Barbados. We are honored that the Bamfords have chosen Barbados for their family vacation home and we are very humbled that through our property management services we have been able to play a small part in their enjoyment of our island. I also hope that you take the time to read my father’s article about the changing face of Cattlewash. I was not sure I wanted to include this article and bring further attention to the opportunities that exist on the East Coast, as I really do not want to contribute to further change in this pristine area of our island. Dad’s perspective based on 60 years experience in the real estate market and his personal experience as a boy enjoying Cattlewash beach 75 years ago are particularly interesting. Both dad and I hope that Cattlewash will continue to be enjoyed by generations of families who appreciate the rustic nature and natural lifestyle that it offers.

Thank you to all the contributors. I hope that you the readers enjoy this our sixth publication and you will agree that we have again found a way to improve on the presentation of key market data to help you make informed decisions.

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