COVID-19 may cause real es­tate prices to LEVEL OFF

Jamaica Gleaner - - GROWTH & JOBS -

EARL SAMUELS, chief de­vel­op­ment fi­nanc­ing of­fi­cer at The Ja­maica Na­tional Group, be­lieves that there could be a lev­el­ling off of prices in the real es­tate mar­ket if the Ja­maican econ­omy does not re­cover from COVID-19 in the short term.

Samuels said the Ja­maican real es­tate mar­ket has been on an up­ward tra­jec­tory, es­pe­cially over the past five years, and added that it was dif­fi­cult to say when the mar­ket would re­turn to that boom be­cause of the un­cer­tainty brought on by COVID-19.

“There will be some lev­el­ling off in prices in the real es­tate mar­ket soon, un­less the im­pact of COVID19 is short-lived and the econ­omy starts to gain some mo­men­tum. The re­cov­ery is go­ing to take some time to hap­pen. There­fore, I think real es­tate prices will ex­pe­ri­ence some lev­el­ling off as a re­sult. I don’t see prices fall­ing, but the level of ap­pre­ci­a­tion that we ex­pe­ri­enced over the past three or four years will level off,” he stated.

“We don’t know if the im­pact of the COVID pe­riod is go­ing to end in three or six months. Shortly af­ter the 2008 re­ces­sion, the real es­tate mar­ket be­came very ac­tive and we saw a lot of de­vel­op­ment tak­ing place. Since the start of COVID-19, the mar­ket has been in a limbo; we are still in a limbo.

We do not know how long it will last. What we must do is try to main­tain a level po­si­tion,” he stated.

Samuels was one of the pre­sen­ters at the PROVEN REIT

Iconic Live Se­ries, a we­bi­nar held on so­cial me­dia re­cently. The se­ries was held un­der the theme ‘Piv­ot­ing to Re­main Vi­able in a Chang­ing Land­scape’.

MAR­KET RE­COV­ER­ING

Aisha Camp­bell, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (CEO), PROVEN REIT, said COVID-19 pan­demic had slowed the up­ward tra­jec­tory in the real es­tate mar­ket, but she was con­fi­dent that the mar­ket was be­gin­ning to re­cover.

“We are see­ing an uptick in the num­ber of per­sons in­ter­ested af­ter the ini­tial slow­down.

“We an­tic­i­pate that per­haps we won’t have the orig­i­nal tra­jec­tory, but peo­ple are still in­ter­ested in real es­tate projects,” she said.

Christo­pher Nakash, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Nakash Con­struc­tion Equip­ment Lim­ited, added that prior to COVID-19 the econ­omy was per­form­ing well. He said this has laid to foun­da­tion for the econ­omy to re­cover.

“It will take about 12-18 months for us to get back to where we were be­fore COVID-19. We are see­ing upticks and con­tracts be­ing awarded. But we will not be in the po­si­tion we were in for a while,” he ex­plained.

“If we get past COVID in the next few months, we have enough carry-over that we can re­sume where we left off, al­beit slower. We have a strong base to work from and so we are on our way to re­cov­ery,” he said.

SAMUELS

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