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Ben Rego shines as Bermuda’s property market picks up

Special agent: Ben Rego swept Rego Sothebys’ company awards after an outstanding year

Real estate agent Ben Rego had a very good 2020.

Last month, he became the first Rego Sothebys agent to take home all the company awards – top listing agent, top selling agent, top commissioned agent and top rental agent for last year.

“It was amazing, certainly and very humbling indeed,” Mr Rego said. “It is wonderful to know that hard work pays off.”

In an industry that depends heavily on face-to-face interactions Mr Rego had to quickly up his technology and social media game.

“Real estate professionals really have to be prompt in their communications,” he said.

In January 2020, the real estate market was already doing better than in previous years, but he still never expected it to perform as well as it did.

“Not just myself, but other agents and companies, have all realised a huge uptick in the market,” he said. “It is really now a landlord and sellers’ market.”

He said digital nomads, people from overseas working in Bermuda remotely, had had a positive impact on the sales and rental market.

“On the purchasing side, I have people who are focusing more internally on Bermuda real estate, and not necessarily buying that second home abroad or travelling as much,” he said. “Or there are people now who want a home office, more yard space for their kids to enjoy, or a pool. So we have seen a huge boost in the sales side of things as well.”

When the lockdown ended last year he was flooded with calls from people looking to tour different properties.

“It seemed like everyone spent the lockdown at home, browsing the market to see what was out there,” he said. “The pandemic made us all focus on our homes and what we like and don’t like about them. I know many people who took on home projects, such as building a shed.”

In terms of the commercial real estate market, he said there was a lot of interest in renting space at the newly renovated Point House at #6 Front Street.

“That is an unbelievable, Class A space and right in the City of Hamilton,” Mr Rego said. “There is great demand for that building.”

Mr Rego said he has been in the industry since he was “in diapers”.

He is the son of company owner Buddy Rego.

“My grandfather, Benny Rego, founded the company in 1949, as the first real estate company on the island,” Mr Rego said.

He has been with the company since 2016.

“It was something I was never forced into or felt like I had to do,” he said. “But I think as time went on I realised my skill set, being a people person, very organised and incredibly motivated and driven, suited the industry. You can never get too high when things are good and never too low when things are bad. It was just a very natural progression for me.”

He said given the hardships that many Bermudians have suffered during the pandemic, the island was lucky the real estate market had done as well as it had.

“Who knows how long it will continue,” he said. “This is a great time now to strike while the iron is hot. There are a lot of buyers out there with tons of confidence. If a property is priced well and it is in a good location, typically it is being met by multiple offers and selling at a faster rate than it used to.”

He said that is happening at all price points.

“In terms of the high end properties, definitely last year the island as a whole tripled its numbers for what we usually expect for closed internationally available homes,” he said.

“That is when the annual rental value is over $126,000. Usually, we might have six or seven of those a year. Last year we basically tripled that. This year, there are a lot of properties in that price point under contract. We will see another year of high end properties trading.”

But he said that does not mean all properties are going to international buyers.

“A huge percentage of the buyers are Bermudians, PRCs and people living here full time, buying these properties.”

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Published April 09, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated April 11, 2021 at 5:54 pm)

Ben Rego shines as Bermuda’s property market picks up

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