Real estate agents and valuers have been urged to work with the Fijian Government in creating affordable housing for average and low-income earners.
His Excellency the President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote made the remarks this morning at the opening of the 7th Fiji Institute of Valuation and Estate Management (FIVEM) 2016 Conference at the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour.
President Konrote said with the increasing property prices in the last five years, Fiji’s property market particularly in the Suva-Nausori corridor was becoming saturated and needed a concerted effort from all stakeholders in addressing the situation.
“In Fiji’s context, we are increasingly becoming an urban society with most, if not all, our urban centres facing similar pressures as many other growing municipalities around the world. This is particularly important because our urban population is projected to increase from 51 per cent to 60 per cent of our total population by 2030,” President Konrote said.
“Whilst the National Housing Policy has been drafted to create a framework with a vision to provide ‘affordable and decent housing for all’, the pressure on issues of market saturation and polarisation of house prices is an equally real and imminent threat to socio-economic cohesion and prosperity that needs to be dealt with holistically.”
The President highlighted that legislations were introduced recently to protect township boundaries “in order to stabilise the land and properties market to avoid creating a housing bubble that would threaten our small, but growing, economy”.
“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 landowners win by having their lands assessed at market value. They also receive 100 percent 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. The whole nation wins when our two key stakeholders – the landowners and tenants are both satisfied,” President Konrote added.
Close to 60 real estate agents, valuers, property developers, estate managers, government reps, financial institutions were part of the conference.