‘Despite downturn, real estate market favourable’

Published: November 24, 2009

Global economic crisis aside, the local real estate market looks optimistic.

This was the opinion of Thomas Justin, president of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Speaking at the opening on Thursday of the two-day Caribbean Land Conference seminar hosted by the Institute of Surveyors of Trinidad and Tobago (ISTT) at the Crowne Plaza hotel, Port of Spain, Justin said emerging and developing countries were seeing a more promising real estate market than more developed first world countries.

He described the Caribbean real estate market as ’stable’, despite the global downturn.

’According to a global property survey, while most the world’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was dropping, office rentals and commercial rentals in countries like China, India, Peru are growing,’ he explained.

Justin, who admitted to being the ’messenger with bad news’ addressed this year’s theme, ’Land Development and Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Current Global Financial Dynamics’, and also shared some insight into the US real estate market.

’Portfolios are sinking. While there is a light at the end the tunnel, it is a long, long tunnel,’ Justin said. He described the past two years in the real estate industry as ’abusive’ even for an organisation as large as the RICS.

’We are one of the largest property organisations in the world, even with 3,381 members, portfolios dropped by 21 per cent per year for the last two years,’ Justin said.

He credited the Government’s Vision 2020 plan for the buoyancy of the local market.

Though he described the local market as a ’loose structure’, he said the continued development of projects like the National Academy of Performing Arts, the second academy in South Trinidad and the gas-powered electricity project for Tobago could only help the local real estate market.

Source: Trinidad express

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