2023 is one month young and there is no better time to look back at trends passed and trends coming this year. From 2019 to now, the real estate market has seen drastic shifts in both residential and commercial trends. The effects of the pandemic have changed how we work, how we live and even the types of property we buy over the last few years.
So you’re ready to buy a home. It’s a common misconception that to start the process, all is needed is the initial 10% down payment. While this is your personal investment, buying a home is an involved process which requires the assistance of many stakeholders within the Real Estate ecosystem. From valuing to financing the asset, and insuring the property to officially transferring the property and all the legal paperwork in between, the costs of buying a home add up quickly.
Hence, in addition to the 10% of the agreed price of the property, there are cash expenses just to finalize a house sale. What’s the real cost of buying a home?
What’s selling in T&T in 2022?
In early 2021, due to the pandemic and the sudden shift in properties actually being purchased, we took a closer look at the movement in the market and highlighted some residential trends for 2021.
Now that we’re fully out of lockdown, and activity seems to be returning to almost pre-COVID norms, we delved in again to see which trends stayed and which trends did not.
From the economy to technological advances and how we do business, Real Estate in Trinidad and Tobago has evolved from the 1960’s to today. The cyclical nature of T&T’s economy post-Independence has spurred waves of development, which have in turn stimulated a flourishing industry to what it is today.
With many land developments and listings at various price points on the market right now, purchasing land could be a quick and easy option to get into investing. But, when it comes to unimproved property (land), prospective buyers like to understand the basis for pricing and what their money can buy.
Based on price per square foot and multiplied by the land area, the total land price of one parcel can sometimes scare prospective buyers into sticker shock. Hence, we delved into various aspects that contribute to the price per square foot of land.
One thing the Coronavirus pandemic has done in the last two years is shift our focus from the hustle and bustle outside of home to our work and recreational space at home. As we close a second year of remote work and homeschooling, quality of life has become paramount to most. For some, a lush environment, more floor area, or a further distance away from the rush is worth moving outside the West.
What does this mean for Real Estate?
It’s been a rough two years and you’ve finally decided to downsize your Real Estate portfolio as soon as possible. You’ve done your due diligence, spoken to a few Real Estate agents, even paid for a valuation report, and determined a fair asking price.
After a few weeks of market exposure, your agent calls with an offer below asking, but you’re torn between accepting a lower-than-expected price and chancing receiving a better offer.
It’s no secret that men and women think, act, and prioritize differently. The same goes when searching for homes. Believe it or not, when it comes to buying homes, men and women differ on the questions they ask, their motivation for buying and what they ultimately base their decisions on. We asked our agents, “What are the buying styles of men vs. women?” and the responses were telling.
While men fixate on price and the bare bones of the home, women tend to focus on safety, livability, and future plans - all equally important. Though the questions below are not exhaustive or exclusive to either male or female, it is an abstract of the contrast between men and women and how they make their property decisions.
A few months ago, we discussed the difference between price and value and how the perception of both concepts affect transactions. Additionally, the last year and a half during the pandemic has changed the already shifting T&T Real Estate market. Now, with all the talk of Property Tax and Land Valuations, we realized that there are many misconceptions surrounding Property Prices.
Therefore, we delved into some of our sold transactions over the past 18 months from our database to understand what money can buy today at different price ranges. This is not a definitive guide but an insight to illustrate what the market has dictated over the last year and a half. The aim is to help both property searchers and vendors navigate the real estate market and show what’s selling and for how much.
From May 2021 to now, Trinidad & Tobago entered a second, stricter lockdown and a State of Emergency following a spike in COVID-19 cases. Similar to the first lockdown in April and May 2020, businesses except for essential services either closed or had their staff work remotely. In July 2020, in an effort to understand how working remotely changed attitudes of office employees, the Terra Caribbean Group built and circulated an attitudes survey to their host countries; Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago.
Therefore, to understand how attitudes may have changed over the last year and how employees feel about the office in the future, Terra Caribbean Trinidad circulated another survey as an updated, comprehensive view of the Trinidadian employee.
We’re taking a break from talking about Real Estate trends to discuss the real topic at hand: COVID fatigue. Here we are a year later, and to our surprise, we are still in a pandemic and in another lockdown. However, the consensus is that this lockdown is stressful and more difficult, for varied reasons.
While numerous businesses have managed to pivot over the last year, making their operations digital and getting websites ready for e-commerce, some of us are still navigating how to pivot on a personal level; battling mental health challenges amid concerns of job loss, decreases in business revenue or the health of our loved ones. In honour of Mental Health Awareness month, we’re examining COVID fatigue and how to cope during these times.
This is not a Sales Pitch! Despite the current economic climate and the pandemic, the Real Estate market is active and has been since June 2020. We recapped the property trends here and can safely say that Real Estate in T&T in 2021 is a sound investment.
Why? Here are 5 reasons:
Let’s get practical for a minute!
With all the conversation about price reductions in recent months and valuations in a pandemic year, most people have been using the words “price” and “value” interchangeably. What really is the difference between price and value? Furthermore, what determines both factors?
Post lock down 2020, the Real Estate outlook for the rest of 2020 was dismal. With the phased reopening of Trinidad & Tobago in June 2020, many businesses contracted or closed their doors, leading to widespread job loss, diminished spending power and decreased economic activity. We were preparing for the worst.
However, in our May 2020 article, we highlighted a few drivers of the industry and how buyers may make their next property decisions. Nine months later, a closer look at the residential segment shows some concrete trends that have sustained through to 2021, that we did not anticipate.
After many surveys searching for the effect of the pandemic on Work from Home trends, the market outlook, and the real estate sector, we decided to look internally at our post lockdown closed transactions. With nine months of the year effectively gone and the COVID-19 pandemic still an active threat to our economy, we decided to get to the root of buyers’ behaviour at this time to differentiate between normal demand and pandemic demand. Additionally, while the commercial real estate market has seen a downturn, the residential market remained buoyant.
After a quick analysis, we discovered that while 50% of our post lockdown closed transactions (both sales and rentals) were normal demand, the other 50% were decisions, directly or indirectly, influenced by the current situation.
During the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic of early 2020, Trinidad and Tobago was placed on a stay at home order for April and May 2020. Consequently, all businesses except for essential services either closed for the duration of two months or had their staff work remotely. Across the Caribbean, other countries were faced with similar stay at home orders for the months of April and May 2020. With the phased reopening of most countries in June 2020, staff has expressed their willingness to continue working from home.
Therefore, in an effort to understand how working remotely has changed attitudes of office employees, the Terra Caribbean Group built and circulated an attitudes survey to their host countries; Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago.
Click here to view the full report.
In our first edition of The Red Book Trinidad & Tobago 2019, we highlighted in our Residential Sale Insights that demand in the middle to lower Residential Sale segment remained stable over the period 2014 to 2018, while the high-end property segment decreased during the same period.
As we near the end of 2019, we asked the same question “What’s selling this year in T&T?” A closer look at the Residential Sale segment for the first 10 months of this year showed a similar trend in composition and price ranges of residential sales so far.
Terra Caribbean Trinidad is proud to launch their first edition of The Red Book Trinidad & Tobago! This launch coincides with the company’s 20 year celebration in Trinidad and 20 years of Knowledge, Experience and Regional Reach.
Borne out of the knowledge culture of the Terra Caribbean Group, the Red Book is a reference guide in each territory of Terra Caribbean - Barbados, Grenada and St. Lucia. As such, Trinidad & Tobago’s first edition includes salient articles and insights on the current property market of T&T in its 128 pages and is the first real estate specific publication of its kind in the country.
Most people think of Terra Caribbean as just a commercial real estate brokerage firm but we actually do so much more than that. For almost 20 years now, Terra Caribbean Trinidad has facilitated the rental and sale of both commercial and residential properties throughout the country. So why choose Terra Caribbean? Our CEO, Jean-Paul de Meillac tells you why in this episode of Be in the Know! with Terra Caribbean Trinidad. Enjoy!
Many people think they KNOW what they want when buying a home… until it’s actually time to decide. What's on your wish list? Let our agent Andrea Barry help you determine what you want in this episode of Be in the Know! with Terra Caribbean Trinidad.
Stay tuned for more Be in the Know!
As we tick down to the last days of 2018, we take a look back at this year in the real estate industry.
This industry has seen spates of profitable periods over the last decade, but has steadily declined from 2016 to today. It is undeniable that while 2017 was a tremor, 2018 was an all-out earthquake, and we’re still feeling the aftershocks.
With shifts and changes in the macro environment in the past calendar year, the ripple effects cannot be ignored. While we’re hopeful of an upturn in the market in 2019 due to oil exploration and likely reinjection of government spending, we thought we’d analyze the considerable and critical external elements and how they affected the Real Estate industry in 2018.
Terra Caribbean invites you to view our new video series, Be in the Know!, where we discuss information on everything property related.
Owning your first home comes with so many mixed feelings of excitement, anxiety and uncertainty, that it’s quite easy to forget the smaller but important things. We realized most people are misinformed about the process of buying a property, beginning with the most important factor…the money!
Our agent Sasha Anton breaks down all the cash you need upfront when buying a home in this episode of Be in the Know! with Terra Caribbean Trinidad.
Ever wondered what's this pre-qualification that bankers and mortgage officers speak about?
Our agent Aleicia Mendoza explains the pre-qualification process and the importance of it. Find out more about it in this episode of Be in the Know! with Terra Caribbean Trinidad.
Stay tuned for more Be in the Know!