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Volume 4 Issue 1

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Serving Jamaica’s Real Estate Marketplace


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Volume 4 Issue 1

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Serving Jamaica’s Real Estate Marketplace

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PROPERTY SEE PAGE 14

View this Issue Online

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Volume 4, Issue 1

Stephanie Treasure EDITORIAL DIRECTOR PUBLISHER Butterfly Publications EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Stephanie Treasure LAYOUT & DESIGN The Gleaner Company Ltd. – Overseas Publications PRINTER Lithographic Printers The Jamaica Real Estate Guide is published quarterly by Butterfly Publications. ISSN 0799-2335 P.O. Box 133, Kingston 19 Jamaica info@jarealestateguide.com www.JaRealEstateGuide.com (876) 337-8406 ©2006-2009 Butterfly Publications Volume 4, Issue 1: Spring 2009 Publisher’s Policy Reproduction of any photographs, artwork or copy prepared by The Jamaica Real Estate Guide is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. All advertised properties are subject to prior sale or withdrawal without notice. Butterfly Publications or The Jamaica Real Estate Guide is not a real estate broker and this publication is not an effort to assist in the buying or selling of real estate but to provide information about real estate listed with a licensed real estate broker. The advertisers, publisher, printer and associates are not liable for misinformation, misprints or typographical errors. Advertising is not accepted from unlicensed real estate sales companies or private home sellers. Real estate advertised in this magazine is subject to the Jamaica Real Estate Board laws. This publication will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of these laws. Real estate advertised in this publication is available on an equal opportunity basis.


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4  SAY YOU SAW IT IN THE Jamaica Real Estate Guide

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AMAICAN HOME seekers, liquid enough to take advantage, are currently in a position to get great value for money in the real estate market, according to some of the nation’s leading realtors. “At this time it is considered a buyer’s market,” says broker Howard Johnson Jr of Howard Johnson Realty. “If one is liquid or can negotiate good financing terms, then there are many deals that can be mustered.” What’s the rationale behind their assessment?

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Firstly, residential prices, which appreciated at rapid pace for the better part of the last decade, has generally remained static over the past two years – therefore, homes are being sold today at the same prices they were sold for in 2007. This has been especially prevalent in the higher-end, J$35 million and up region of the market, where demand has slowed due to a confluence of economic shocks, such as the fallout in the alternative investment schemes and rising mortgage rates, that have eroded the purchasing power of buyers. HOME BUYERS GAINING CONTROL What’s more is that the financial pressures on vendors have put the ball in the court of homebuyers to negotiate downwards the already relatively flat prices. On one hand, formal vendors are stockpiled due to the fact that the disposable period on properties – the time in which it takes an owner to sell – has now gone past six months; much longer than

the usual time frame of two to four months. “That’s so because there are less able, qualified, ready and willing purchasers in the market,” president of Realtors International Don Glanville noted in the print media recently. On the other hand, cashstrapped purchasers are being forced to sell. “There are quite a number of units on the market for sale because initial purchasers are having difficulty holding on to them,” Johnson Jr tells Jamaica Real Estate Guide. “Some individuals bought high end townhouses with the hope of renting at the higher end of the market, but the rental market, in terms of prices, have been reduced significantly, thus compromising the home owner’s ability to meet his financial obligations,” he explains. However, against this background, realtors agree that Government’s announcement of a planned reduction in transfer tax and stamp duty next January, has created some amount of uncertainty in the market and has made speculators out of the

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most willing buyers and sellers in the down-market. Effective January 1, 2010, the transfer tax will be reduced to four per cent and the stamp duty on certain property transactions that is currently levied at 4.5 per cent will be reduced to three per cent. One prominent industry player said Government’s announcement of the measure during its budget presentation last month merely motivated sellers, who wish to benefit from the imminent reduction, to hoard properties. PREMATURE “People who don’t absolutely have to sell are not going to sell; they are going to hold on to their properties and wait till January,” said the realtor. Johnson Jr says realtors are grateful for the reduction and the effort by the Government to “stimulate” the industry, but he believes the announcement was made prematurely. With regards to the announcement’s effect on buyers, Johnson Jr says, “It has caused investors to second guess their decision to buy now, when in essence you cannot project what type of

market we will be in come ‘January morning’.” Johnson Jr advises that buyers are still able to acquire good deals now that may not be available when these reductions take effect, noting that the ‘grass’ just may not be ‘greener’ come January. ESCALATION EXPECTED “Our dollar is plunging, uncertainty exist about the worldwide economic state, and who knows what other challenges we may face in January,” he reasons. “So while projecting savings, you might just be in the same or worst position than if you purchase later. Buyers can be highly motivated if the effective date for these reductions are brought forward in market conditions that can be proven.”

... the financial pressures on vendors have put the ball in the court of homebuyers to negotiate downwards the already relatively flat prices

However, at the end of the day, home seekers may have to act fast in anticipation of an imminent rebound in the market at the end of the current recessionary period, which Prime Minister Bruce Golding said “may end earlier than predicted” based on indicators from the United States housing market and the London Exchange. Indeed, as Jamaica moves out of the recession, it is logical that real estate prices will escalate once again. This, as reportedly noted by president of Realtors International Limited Don Glanville, is due to the supply/demand imbalance in the local real estate market. “In Jamaica, we still have, to an extent, an issue of supply and demand for the quality products,” he said. “There is a greater demand for the quality products than the supply.” In summary, home seekers should ponder whether they should buy now and jump on the ‘bandwagon’ destined for another wave of real estate boom prices later.


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6  SAY YOU SAW IT IN THE Jamaica Real Estate Guide

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Industry Moves NEW WEBSITES

Howard Johnson Realty has a new website and a new blog. Log on to www.hjrealtors.com and the blog domain is www.hjrealtycheck.com NEW APPOINTMENTS

Howard Johnson Realty welcomes 6 new Realtor Associates: Sherie Ranston Sherene Brown Wayne Barrett Shani Dawes Paul Wallace Hector Peart

• • • • • •

RELOCATION

Note the following relocation announcements:

• LA MAISON PROPERTY SERVICES LIMITED 8 Dominica Drive, Kingston 5 Phone: (876) 906-0858/0859/0860 Fax: (876) 906-9762

• KEYLAND REAL ESTATE 22 Kensington Crescent Kingston 5 Phone (876) 871-0447

• HOPE CODLIN & ASSOCIATES

5-7 Dunrobin Avenue Kingston 10 (876) 755-1611

Policy Changes in the Jamaica Real Estate Industry

Government Announces Further Reduction in Stamp Duty/Transfer Tax THE GOVERNMENT is further reducing the rates for Stamp Duty and Transfer Tax this fiscal year, mainly to stimulate a revival in the real estate and construction sectors. Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, told the House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 23, 2009 that Stamp Duty will be reduced from 4.5% to 3%, and Transfer Tax from 5% to 4%, effective January 1, 2010. Documents are stamped to make them legal and binding. Unstamped or insufficiently stamped documents are not admissible in a court of law, except in criminal cases. Transfer Tax is assessed and paid by persons transferring real properties, including land and/or transferring property on death. Among documents requiring stamping areBills of Sale, Deed Poll, Discharge of Mortgage, Hire Purchase Agreements, insurance policies, applications to register land, land leases, loan agreements, mortgages, sale agreements and instruments for the transfer of property.


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info@lamaisonproperty.com www.lamaisonproperty.com


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12  SAY YOU SAW IT IN THE Jamaica Real Estate Guide

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A Guide to organizing your

MOVE

A.I. GRACEY & ASSOCIATES .............................................................................. 3 ACCESS PROPERTY INVESTMENTS...............................................................14,15



Purchase or rent moving supplies: tape, markers, scissors, pocketknife, newspaper, blankets, moving pads, plastic storage bins, rope and a hand truck. Free boxes can usually be obtained at a local supermarket, but consider purchasing wardrobe boxes for moving clothes  Start contacting key financial providers such as your bank or other institutions to have your details changed and to start up the process of cancelling/setting up automatic payments and/or accounts etc.  Start packing non-essential belongings whenever you have some free time  Make an inventory of your belongings and take pictures of valuables  Donate unwanted clothing or household items to charitable organizations or your church. You may also consider having a garage sale

 Notify your post office that you are moving  Make a list of friends, relatives and businesses who should be notified of your move  Contact your utility companies to notify them of your move 4 TO 6 WEEKS:

2 TO 3 WEEKS:

 Start packing things that you don’t use regularly, room by

room

 Make babysitting arrangements if necessary  Organize and pack legal papers, insurance records and other important papers

 Make sure that disconnection of utilities at your old address is scheduled to a specific date

 Make sure all boxes are properly labelled, especially those you may need to get to first  Start taking apart furniture that needs to be disassembled  Disconnect major appliances at least a day before the move so that they will be at room temperature during the move  On moving day, get up early, stay calm and get ready to enjoy your new home MOVING WEEK:

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ADVERTISER INDEX

by the Jamaica Real Estate Guide

TWO MONTHS BEFORE:

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COOPER AND ASSOCIATES................................................................................9 FLOW PROPERTIES JAMAICA ..........................................................................11 FURNITURE LAND..........................................................................................10 HOWARD JOHNSON REALTY.............................................................................11 JAMAICA MORTGAGE BANK..............................................................................3 JAMAICA TRADE & INVEST..............................................................................11 LA MAISON PROPERTY SERVICES......................................................................9 NORTHWEST DEVELOPMENT............................................................................7 RUEL WOOLCOCK..........................................................................................10 SCOTIABANK.................................................................................................8 TROPICAL SUNSHINE PROPERTIES..................................................................16 VICTORIA MUTUAL PROPERTY SERVICES...........................................................2


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Jamaica Real Estate Guide Spring 2009  

http://www.jarealestateguide.com Spring 2009 Issue of the Jamaica Real Estate Guide. Read online for free

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