Val­u­a­tion stan­dar­d­is­ing a chal­lenge, Fiji In­sti­tute of Val­u­a­tion pres­i­dent

The ur­ban pop­u­la­tion is pro­jected to in­crease from 51 per cent to 60 of our to­tal pop­u­la­tion by 2030

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With the in­creas­ing prop­erty prices in the last five years, the prop­erty mar­ket in Fiji, par­tic­u­larly the Suva-Nau­sori cor­ri­dor, is be­com­ing sat­u­rated.

This trend is inevitably af­fect­ing the af­ford­abil­ity of hous­ing for the av­er­age and low in­come earn­ers.

This was high­lighted by the Pres­i­dent, Ma­jor-Gen­eral (Ret’d) Jioji Kon­rote, at the Fiji In­sti­tute of Val­u­a­tion An­nual Con­fer­ence at The Pearl Re­sort on Fri­day. “You can be as­sured that Govern­ment is find­ing ways to ad­dress this,” he said. He said Govern­ment had re­cently in­tro­duced leg­is­la­tions to pro­tect the town­ship bound­aries, es­pe­cially to pro­vide the op­por­tu­nity to grow, based on our eco­nomic strength. “This is de­signed, among other things, to sta­bilise the land and prop­er­ties mar­ket to avoid cre­at­ing a hous­ing bub­ble that would threaten our small, but grow­ing, econ­omy.” Ac­cord­ing to Mr Kon­rote how the prop­erty, hous­ing mar­ket plays out would de­pend largely on the in­te­gra­tion of Govern­ment, landown­ers or land­lords, prop­erty de­vel­op­ers, the fi­nan­cial sec­tor and prop­erty pro­fes­sion­als.

“With the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, it is im­per­a­tive that all stake­hold­ers fo­cus on cre­at­ing a healthy en­vi­ron­ment, con­ducive to af­ford­able hous­ing at eq­ui­table prices. Whilst the Na­tional Hous­ing Pol­icy has been drafted to cre­ate a frame­work with a vi­sion to pro­vide, Mr Kon­rote said, “Af­ford­able and De­cent Hous­ing for All”, the pres­sure on is­sues of mar­ket sat­u­ra­tion and po­lar­i­sa­tion of house prices was an equally real and im­mi­nent threat.

“This threat is to so­cio-eco­nomic co­he­sion and pros­per­ity that needs to be dealt with holis­ti­cally.”

He pleaded to pro­fes­sion­als present at the con­fer­ence to as­sist Govern­ment’s over­all ef­forts in help­ing de­velop Fi­jians and the na­tion.

Land Bank and win-win equa­tion

He fur­ther said the Govern­ment in­tro­duced the Land Use De­cree that es­tab­lished the Land Bank as a means to max­imise the use of idle and un­der­pro­duc­tive land for eco­nomic pur­poses.

“The Land Bank is de­signed to cre­ate, among other things, a win­win out­come for the landown­ers, the tenants, and the Na­tion as a whole. There are no zero sums in­volved.”

He stressed the landown­ers win by hav­ing their lands as­sessed at mar­ket value.

“They also re­ceive 100 per cent of the lease money.”

“The tenants win by hav­ing the se­cu­rity of ten­ure that could last as long as 99 years. This means that more than one gen­er­a­tion can in­vest in the land.”

More­over, Pres­i­dent Kon­rote added the se­cu­rity of land own­er­ship was firmly en­trenched in our Con­sti­tu­tion.

“The whole na­tion wins when our two key stake­hold­ers - the landown­ers and tenants are both sat­is­fied.”

Pres­i­dent Ma­jor-Gen­eral (Ret’d) Jioji Kon­rote (6th from right), the pres­i­dent of Fiji In­sti­tute of Val­u­a­tion, Solo Nata (5th from right), with the par­tic­i­pants at The Pearl in Pa­cific Har­bour on Fri­day.

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