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Expats Are Rushing in on Island Properties

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  • In Bali, Indonesia, housing demand from overseas is rapidly increasing.
  • This surge is driven by increased remote work, new second home visas, and skyrocketing rents.
  • “I have never seen Bali this busy in the last 18 months,” said Nathan Ryan, founder of Bali Realty.

After living in Hong Kong for the past 34 years, British businessman Steve Moore was looking for a new place to spend his semi-retirement days.

He already owned properties in the UK and an island in Thailand Phuket, and also in Hong Kong, where his fashion clothing trading business is based. And Bali has always been deep in his heart.

“We felt it was the right time to have a second home that we could use on a semi-permanent basis,” Moore told Insider. “I will probably spend six months in Bali, and the rest in business and Hong Kong.”

exterior of the house.

Exterior of the house purchased by Steve Moore.

Steve Moore

After seeing dozens of properties on the island firsthand, Moore spent IDR 10 billion, or $674,022, on a two-story house in Tumbak Bayu. The neighborhood is he 10 minutes drive from the center of Canggu. Canggu is a village on the south coast of Bali known for its beach clubs and thriving surf scene.

With its modern design, slate color scheme and full-length sliding doors, this home is a far cry from the typical Balinese villa.

“I was there for two weeks and, frankly, I didn’t expect to find anything so soon,” Moore said. “During my last trip in April, I was looking for the right kind of property to buy in Bali and was lucky enough to find one.”

Interior of the house purchased by Steve Moore

Interior of the house purchased by Steve Moore.

Steve Moore

economic recovery

Moore isn’t the only foreigner to buy property in Bali, Indonesia, as borders reopen and the world returns to its pre-pandemic rhythm.

Long a cosmopolitan destination that draws travelers for its beaches and vibrant nightlife, Bali has quickly become a hot-selling market thanks to the pandemic, changing working practices and new second home visa schemes. is on the rise.

Bali welcomed 371,504 foreign tourists in the first half of 2022. Bali Central Bureau of StatisticsIn contrast, there were only 51 foreign tourists in 2021 as a whole. The island’s real estate scene is heating up as life begins to return to pre-pandemic normal.

“I have never seen Bali so busy in the last 18 months.” bali real estate, told an insider. “In terms of sales numbers, he’s probably selling three to four times the normal average for the last decade.”

Founded in 2009, his company primarily deals with villas and undeveloped land in southern Bali, including the tourist destinations of Uluwatu and Ubud.

Ryan said there has been a spike in buyer interest, especially from people in Russia and Ukraine.

Nathan Ryan (first from left) with colleagues at Bali Realty

Nathan Ryan (first from left) with colleagues at Bali Realty.

bali real estate

Mark Hilte and Amadeus Foerster, founders of Bali real estate consultantthey said unplanned project viewing requests and construction deals are on the rise.

“For the first time in my career dealing in real estate in Bali, the market has shifted to a seller’s market. It will be,” Hirte told Insider.

When they launched the company three years ago, buyers were looking for bargains. These days, clients are willing to pay what they need to get the home they want, he says, Förster. They receive inquiries from all over the world, but especially from people in expensive cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Los Angeles.

Amadeus Förster and Marc Hirte of Bali Real Estate Consultants.

Amadeus Förster and Marc Hirte of Bali Real Estate Consultants.

Bali real estate consultant

Foerster said many people are considering moving to Bali because of the island’s affordability, which is not possible on the same budget in any major city in the world. ”

There is also the issue of visas: in order to invite more people to come to Indonesia, introduced Second home visa system in June. This visa is intended for foreign retirees who wish to stay longer but may not be able to obtain another residence permit. Although unconfirmed, the country is also considering the idea of ​​a five-year digital nomad visa, Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno said. bloomberg in june.

Remote work, second house, soaring rent

Many foreigners looking for a house in Bali are remote work Opportunities – and they’re bringing families, Ryan said.

“Sometimes one of our partners gets a buyer who needs to go back to Singapore or Hong Kong to the office once a week or once a month, but spend the rest of the time here,” says Ryan.

Others only want a livable landing pad for two months at a time, Förster said. whenever they are here. ”

Rising prices and shorter rental periods in the island’s rental industry have created demand for homes from people who were originally considering or had previously rented, Hirte said.

Förster gave the example of a Swedish couple from Los Angeles who were considering moving to Bali. The couple’s son had a rare medical condition, so their move to the island required a good hospital, green school, an international school 30 minutes from Ubud. After calculating the cost of renting the property, the couple decided to buy a house instead.

“I don’t think this happened before the pandemic,” Foerster said.

increase in supply

Housing supply in Bali is trying to keep up with demand.

“The Bali housing supply index for Q3 2021 is up around 40.8% year-on-year, and the growing momentum in home buying is likely to boost supply conditions.” Frank Asia Pacific told an insider, citing data from an Indonesian real estate platform. Rumah.com.

“I was surprised myself, maybe more villas were built in the last two years than in the three or four years before the pandemic,” Foerster said.

Many of these homes have been sold unplanned, which is why Atiba Belgrave and his girlfriend Ilse de Groot bought their first Bali home.

Atiba Belgrave and Ilse de Groot.

Atiba Belgrave and Ilse De Groot on a plot of land before construction of the house began

digital travel couple

In 2018, the couple quit their corporate job in the Netherlands, travel full timeSince then, they’ve traveled in and out of Bali on their worldwide travels, but even living their dreams can be exhausting.

“I was getting a little tired of looking for new places every couple of months,” Belgrave told Insider. “We have always tried to rent for the long term, but finding a good affordable rental place is rather difficult, especially around Canggu. Prices have gone up significantly.”

Their rental criteria were simple. They wanted a private house or villa with an outdoor garden and pool. De Groot said they managed to stay within his monthly rental budget of IDR 14-18 million for four years.

Atiba Belgrave and Ilse de Groot in front of an unplanned property.

Atiba Belgrave and Ilse de Groot in front of an unplanned property under construction.

digital travel couple

Rental prices have skyrocketed since Bali’s borders reopened. According to Belgrave, the newly built villas are currently selling for up to IDR 30 million per month.

“Renting for a month is not always possible these days, as owners prefer to rent out for short periods to earn more money,” he said. Ultimately, it makes more sense to buy your own home. They spent IDR 2.8 billion on a two-bedroom loft-style house with an open concept design.is located in 11 villa development Located in a small village called Sepaka, overlooking lush rice fields and 10 minutes from the beach.

An exterior view of another house in the same unplanned development where Belgrave and De Groot purchased the house.

An exterior view of another house in the same unplanned development where Belgrave and De Groot purchased the house.

Denise/barefoot concept

Belgrave said the house is expected to be ready for occupancy before the end of the year. In the meantime, the couple are living in a house rented from a Canadian couple, but can’t wait to move out.

“Our idea is that the sooner we get the keys to the house, the sooner we can live there and save on rent,” De Groot said. and it was very convenient to invest in something that was already built.The house we bought was the first house we saw and we fell in love at first sight.”

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