Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaicans will soon be able to benefit from a database of housing starts that is being developed by the Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB).
  • The Housing Starts Metrics will be used to provide information on, monitor and measure island wide performance of housing starts.
  • Housing starts is an economic indicator that reflects the number of privately owned housing units on which construction has been started in a given period.

Jamaicans will soon be able to benefit from a database of housing starts that is being developed by the Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB).

The Housing Starts Metrics will be used to provide information on, monitor and measure island wide performance of housing starts.

Housing starts is an economic indicator that reflects the number of privately owned housing units on which construction has been started in a given period. This data is divided into three types: single-family houses, townhouses or small condos, and apartment buildings with five or more units.

Director of Business Operations at JMB, Hecton Hemans who was speaking at a JIS Think Tank on December 9 explained the rationale for the project.

“The organization recognized that the database could be a useful business, economic and social planning tool for us as a bank, the government, as well as for industry players,” he said.

He explained that in many developed countries, release of monthly or other periodic data on housing starts is highly anticipated news as the information provides an indication of how well the economy is performing.  Areas covered by the reports include number and types of housing starts (e.g. apartments, townhouses, single family etc), the level of employment and the number of units completed.

“We don’t have similar statistics here. Although the Economic and Social Survey puts out a report each year that tells you how many housing starts are done, the information comes in after the fact. It is aged by the time it becomes public.”

He explained that in becoming a little more proactive, JMB would be gathering closer to real time information and making it accessible online to relevant stakeholders.

“The Housing Starts Metrics will outline information on where developments are taking place in the island, the number of developments, the type, the cost, the timelines, the number of employees and the developer involved,” he pointed out.

He added that some of the information would be proprietary and as such held in confidence but the portion that is useful to the public will be made available online.

He said the bank was in dialogue with a number of organizations through which the information would be sourced such as the Jamaica Developers Association, the Ministry of Local Government, the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation and the parish councils.

Skip to content