Real Estate Industry Hailed for Contribution to Economy

Photo: Donald De La Haye Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Fayval Williams, delivering the keynote address at the Annual General Meeting of the Realtors Association of Jamaica, yesterday (June 21), at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge in Kingston.

Story Highlights

  • The real estate industry is being hailed for its significant contribution to the national economy.
  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Fayval Williams, said the industry is moving in the right direction.
  • Discussions are also being held with private-sector companies that offer financing products, to ease the burden of the upfront costs of land titling, to make it easier for those with untitled lands to be brought into the registry.

The real estate industry is being hailed for its significant contribution to the national economy.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Fayval Williams, said the industry is moving in the right direction.

“A vibrant real estate market is an indication of the health of the economy, [and] the data suggests that the industry is doing very well. In 2015, there was $62 billion in the value of transactions and in 2016, $64 billion. We know that inflation is in the single digits, so when we look at these increases, we know that it is not just price; it is the number of transactions that are rising as well,” she noted.

The State Minister was delivering the keynote address at the annual general meeting of the Realtors Association of Jamaica today (June 21) at Mona Visitors’ Lodge in Kingston.

Mrs. Williams said that from January to February this year, $9.6 billion was earned, an increase of 14 per cent when compared with the $8.4 billion earned in the similar period in 2016. There were 1,384 transactions from January to February this year, an 18 per cent increase over last year’s 1,171 transactions.

The State Minister said that the goal is for every Jamaican to have ownership of real estate.

To this end, she noted that the Government is examining the factors that influence real estate ownership.

“We are examining how to accelerate land titling and transfers. Additionally, the merger of the Land Administration and Management Programme with National Land Agency is another step. This brings together the core land information functions of Government under one roof,” she said.

She added that the Government is also placing importance on reducing the cost of real estate ownership and getting to a fiscal position to be able to reduce property transaction taxes.

Discussions are also being held with private-sector companies that offer financing products, to ease the burden of the upfront costs of land titling, to make it easier for those with untitled lands to be brought into the registry.

In the meantime, the State Minister is calling for the banking sector and companies that finance real estate to offer more creative products for the market.

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