JIS News

More real estate developers have registered with the Real Estate Board in the first six months of this financial year when compared with the two previous financial periods.
According to figures from the Board, 32 developers were registered from April to September. In 2003/04, only nine new developers were registered, while in the 2004/2005 financial year, 27 persons applied and were registered as developers.
Sandra Watson, Senior Inspector at the Board told JIS News that the surge in the number of persons registering could be attributed to the relatively low interest rates on borrowing.
“When interest rates are very high, developers find it difficult to borrow money.and so, with the fall in interest rates you will find more developments coming on stream because the developers can borrow money and put the necessary infrastructure in place, in order to let people get houses at a more reasonable price,” she reasoned. With the lower interest rates, purchasers are also able to borrow money to buy real estate, she added.
With the current real estate boom, the Board has also been dealing with a deluge of applications from real estate dealers and salespersons, who were previously dormant and now wish to renew their registrations. This, Mrs. Watson said was especially the case over the last two months.
Meanwhile, the Senior Inspector acknowledged that some in-roads have been made to increase the number of real estate dealers registering with the Board.She explained that building societies had helped in triggering the trend. “They are insisting that in order to get on their panel, they need to see your licence, so the dealers want their licence in hand to show the building societies. They are even knocking off their panel, persons without licences,” she told JIS News.
Mrs. Watson has also urged commercial banks to assist the process by dealing only with registered real estate dealers and developers. “What I wish would happen is that the banks will do their part because the bank has a large responsibility to keep real estate dealers and developers in line,” she said.The Real Estate Board, which came into operation in 1988, is an agency of the Ministry of Land and Environment.