Guam real estate sales up in anticipation of population growth

Siska Hutapea, the president of Cornerstone Valuation Guam.

Although the recently released census showed that Guam’s population has decreased, real estate sales are up in anticipation of an increase in population in the next few years.

Siska Hutapea, the president of Cornerstone Valuation Guam, said the island is on the brink of population growth for the next 5 to 10 years.

“Local market participants are definitely buying into this idea, with top sales in the first three quarters dominated by local buyers who are acting outside their comfort zone and paying to win,” Hutapea said in Cornerstone’s latest quarterly newsletter.

She said new record prices are being paid for various apartment buildings and buyers noted higher rent expectations as the motive to pay the higher prices, in addition to rising construction costs.

“GHURA did increase the rent twice in 2020, which side effect includes price increase in the lower-priced segment and dislocating non subsidized tenants into oblivion. Smaller commercial buildings are also in demand by owner-occupant buyers. Ready to build land with infrastructures are harder and harder to come by,” she said.

According to Hutapea, the three quarters of 2021 reflect a substantial increase in sales activity. Q2 and Q3 2021 quarter-on-quarter sales increased by 88 and 71 percent respectively compared to the pandemic ridden 2020.

“Yes, the pandemic dampened the activity in 2020, but both quarters reflect sales volumes that are also higher than the same quarters in 2019,” Hutapea said.