Preparing for Disaster
A tropical wave, named 97L, formed off the coast of Africa in late September, travelled west across the Atlantic, and upon reaching the Eastern Caribbean became Hurricane Matthew on September 28th 2016. Matthew rapidly intensified and became a Category 5 storm on September 30th and proceeded to track northwards, towards Haiti, Cuba and ultimately The Bahamas and on to the US East Coast.
Labelled a major storm and significant threat from early on, Matthew was taken very seriously by the Bahamian population. Preparations began early, and picked up pace as Matthew moved, ever so slowly, closer. Matthew had the capital, New Providence in his path and the residents were taking no chances. By the mid afternoon on Wednesday the 5th of October (ERA Dupuch Real Estate’s Owner Broker Peter Dupuch’s birthday!), preparations were complete and the city hunkered down, fearing the worst, hoping for the best.
The Storm Strikes
Matthew’s passage was slow and torturous, the eye taking a course between western New Providence and Andros. Matthew was the first Category Four storm to hit the capital city since 1929.
Matthew’s eye skimmed the west coast of New Providence and he caused probably the most damage of any storm in living memory. However, Nassau stood strong. Yes, trees and powerlines were downed, many homes lost shingles and some low lying areas suffered major flooding but in general, the island stood up to this powerful storm. Thanks to strong and rigid building codes, thanks to diligent preparations and wise caution, there was no loss of life, and collateral damage, while significant, was not as devastating as it could have been.
Hurricanes are a way of live in the tropics. Hopefully direct hits by ones such as Matthew continue to be once in a life time events. It seems many parts of the world have some extreme meteorological phenomenon to contend with. In the Bahamas we do not have extremes of hot and cold; nor an arid lack of humidity, and it is not oppressively muggy; just lots of sunshine and year-round pleasant temperatures!
The Bahamas Real Estate Market
We do not fear volcanoes or earthquakes, nor do we have the scary and devastating bush fires we watch in horror on the news. Instead, we have hurricanes. But we are pretty good at preparing for them. Recovery is taxing, but tends to bring communities together, and just like the trees, flora and fauna, we spring back to life and come back with vigor, stronger and more vibrant.
How is real estate in The Bahamas after Hurricane Matthew? People will always be selling and buying houses. No matter what the economy is like, or what is going on. The high end and foreign market has remained strong, investors know that the Bahamas is still a fantastic place to relocate. The local market has seen a large demand on the rental market as people were displaced by storm damage. There is very little available to rent right now, a landlords dream. Things are settling down now though, and we are back to business as usual, matching sellers with buyers and solving everyone’s real estate needs!
The Bahamas real estate market is alive and well in the wake of the storm. Be sure to contact ERA Dupuch Real Estate online or call (242) 393 1811 for expert real estate advice from local Bahamas home buyer and seller specialists.