Gov’t Commits to Reducing Taxes on Land Transactions

Story Highlights

  • Gov’t Commits to Reducing Taxes on Land Transactions
  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said this reduction would provide a boost in the housing market and reduce the transaction costs to potential homeowners.
  • Other initiatives by the Government to boost the housing industry include the implementation of more public-private partnerships to build housing solutions, and the introduction of more cost-effective building technology to reduce housing costs.

The Government has committed to reducing stamp duties and transfer taxes on land transactions.

Transfer tax is a payment to the Commissioner of Stamp Duty at the rate of five per cent of the sale price or value for which the property is transferred.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said this reduction would provide a boost in the housing market and reduce the transaction costs to potential homeowners.

“On the last occasion that this was done, we knew that the market had started to see some increased activity,” he said.

The Minister was addressing the 50th anniversary symposium of the Realtors Association of Jamaica, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in New Kingston, on June 7.  It was held under the theme, ‘Real Estate 2016: The Key to Economic Growth and Prosperity’.

Other initiatives by the Government to boost the housing industry include the implementation of more public-private partnerships to build housing solutions, and the introduction of more cost-effective building technology to reduce housing costs.

The Government is also committed to the promotion of longer term mortgages to bring down recurrent costs to home ownership.

Reform the Housing Market

Dr. Chang noted that the Government will further reform the housing market by realigning housing institutions to return to their core business and eliminate the overlapping in their roles and functions.

“The National Housing Trust will provide financing for the development of low-income houses. The Jamaica Mortgage Bank, on the other hand, has been instructed to expand on active secondary mortgage and focus on private sector and public-private partnerships to stimulate housing at all levels,” he explained.

The Minister said the role of the Housing Agency of Jamaica will be reviewed to ensure that the work that is done is sustainable.

During the event, panel discussions were held on various topics, including attracting foreign direct investment in real estate and the impact of the new Timeshare Legislation on the real estate market.

The event was sponsored by Jamaica National Building Society.

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