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Property Matters: City living: Life on a whole new level

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After several years of depressed buyer demand, confidence in real estate investment in Bermuda is showing marked improvement!

Buyers entering today’s real estate market are faced with healthy levels of inventory and in some cases competitive offers; something that sellers have not experienced for a few years! One of the market niche areas that has shown support of these trends over the last six months is City Living.

Buyers are showing interest again due to better than average rental returns and strong demand from potential tenants.

Residential units in the City of Hamilton tend to mirror similar inventory in global markets offering less square footage, but many amenities, and units are often furnished making them ideal for renting.

“Smaller in size doesn’t mean you lose bang for your buck!” Currently we have only two units available for rent within the city — a one-bedroom unit at $3,500 and a two-bedroom unit at $4,500 per month.

The city is vibrant and is in its early stages of a revitalised transformation.

If you look around you can already see small pockets of change happening around us.

The buildings are growing in size and shape to accommodate the ever-changing population.

City developments are now well established, with Atlantis constructed in 2004, Dundonald House constructed in 2005, and Park Place constructed in 2006. Throughout the economic downturn in Bermuda these units have seen less of an impact on their value than much of the inventory located outside of the city.

We’ve tracked the city living trends since the introduction of City Living, and the city is alive and growing.

Since 2004, 130-plus units have been constructed.

Owner occupancy rates have steadily increased over time: Atlantis being the first with approximately 12 percent owner occupied; Dundonald House — 25 percent owner occupied; and Park Place completed in 2008 approximately 50 percent owner occupied. So you can see, individuals see the value in owning a city unit not just for the investment potential, but for enjoying the beauty and benefits the city has to offer.

Nowadays, more and more people are choosing to live in the city. Whether they are Bermudians or expats, they are willing to leave their homes and migrate to the city because of the many advantages that City Living offers.

One has easy access to all the amenities of life … the library, museums, arts, entertainment, shopping, dining, doctors, churches, movie theatres and much more. Additionally, city centres around the world are the places where all the business, official and trade activity centres are located.

The commuting time is non-existent, but public transportation is only a short walk away. Living in a city is very convenient.

Another advantage of city life is health and safety. The newer city living accommodations offer security key access to the main building and parking areas.

The emergency services are all located in or near the city … police, fire and ambulance making arrival on the scene within minutes. During hurricanes when power outages occur, the city gets power first and many buildings are equipped with generators.

City life means people can have fast access to their needs and wants.

According to experts, as time goes by, more and more people all over the world will move to cities, seeking a new city lifestyle. If you are looking for a real estate investment, city property may offer a solution to many of your questions. Based on properties that are competitively priced, one bedroom units could potentially provide between 7.6 percent to eight percent rental returns in the short-term and afford you alternate living options in the future.

This week’s column is submitted by Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty. For more information contact them at 292-1793 or www.bermudarealty.com.

City living grows: Owner occupancy rates have steadily increased over time: to where Park Place, completed in 2008, is approximately 50 percent owner occupied. The rooftop terrace of Park Place is pictured here.
Heart of Hamilton: A balcony at a condo at Ten on Dundonald Street. (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Easy living: Park Place is a popular choice for renters and owners looking for a turn-key liftetyle and close proximity to Hamilton. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published June 06, 2013 at 2:50 pm (Updated June 06, 2013 at 2:50 pm)

Property Matters: City living: Life on a whole new level

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