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
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.