The environment in Jamaica is ripe for investment, particularly in the real estate sector, Earl Jarrett, General Manager of Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), told more than 100 Florida residents who attended a mortgage forum, “Thinking of Buying a Home in Jamaica?”, at the Kendall Hotel & Suites, in Miami, Florida, last Thursday (Oct. 6).
“Housing developments are being constructed across the island from Whitehall, Westmoreland; Reading, St. James; Richmond, St. Ann; Retreat, St. Mary, all across St. Catherine and Clarendon, to Stony Hill, St. Andrew; and these housing solutions are going—at reasonable rates,” he stated.
He explained that the Government of Jamaica had already implemented initiatives, such as “a reduction in the transfer tax and cost of stamp duty, to ensure that the steps involved in purchasing property are less onerous than before.”
In his wide-ranging presentation, the JNBS General Manager discussed the state of the Jamaican economy, noting that despite the impact of the JDX, the IMF Agreement and the recent reduction in interest rates by the Bank of Jamaica, there were several positives that should be appreciated.
In that regard, he spoke to the reduction of crime, citing the “the largest drop in murders in 20 years,” the stability of the exchange rate, the downward trend in inflation, consistent performance in tourism; and the fact that the World Bank had recently approved a US$100M line of credit for the country.
Mr. Jarrett also noted that last year, News Week Magazine classified Jamaica as: The top-ranked Caribbean nation to live in…base on education, health, quality of life, economic competiveness, and the political environment.
“Set against that background,” he declared that, “this forum, which focuses on buying a home in Jamaica, is quite timely.”
Janice McIntosh, JN Chief Representative Officer in the Florida market, highlighted the Society’s reduced mortgage rates, which came into effect earlier this year, and invited members to have “conversations with the Society.”
Some five real estate developers mounted displays, including Richmond Development Company, Seven K’s Developers Ltd., Select Property Development, Meldam Realtors and Ocean Terrace Estate, with whom Jamaica National participates in the JN Preferred Lender Programme.
The developers also provided detailed information about current housing solutions that are complete or under construction in Jamaica; and responded to questions from participants. In addition, they spoke confidently about their promotional links with Jamaica National, as well as the response from the members of the Society.
Representatives of the National Housing Trust (NHT) spoke about joint mortgage financing options; and the National Land Agency (NLA), demonstrated its innovative iMap Jamaica application, which allows persons anywhere in the world to access land boundary information in Jamaica, via the NLA’s website, to facilitate land titling.
The ability to locate lands and view boundaries via iMap Jamaica registered positively with participants, who welcomed the new technology and the access it provided to initiative “title searches” for under developed lands in their families.
In addition, displays were also mounted by subsidiaries of Jamaica National, including–JN Money Transfer Services.