29 Aug 2019 - Jamaica (Kingston)
I am in Kingston, Jamaica, looking at the real estate market, mostly in New Kingston.
The office market has been flat in terms of growth for 5+ years at USD 12 /sq ft /year, although there has been little new development and there is a perception that USD 15 could be achieved if there was good, new space available. Most of the recent activity relates to call centres.
There is an office investment market, but there is no real international interest and it is local, mostly Jamaican pension funds, yields being around 10%. Neighbourhood commercial in strata title sells for USD 200-250 /sq ft.
Land values are up to USD 2 million /acre, with neighbourhood commercial land being generally in a range of USD 500,000-1 million /acre.
The residential market is relatively strong. There is quite a lot of construction taking place including Guardian Life's new 176 unit development on two acres branded The Cambridge where prices are around USD 300 /sq ft.
Whilst lending criteria are strict, interest rates are on a downward trajectory and it is possible to borrow more than 100% of value. Yields appear to be much better for apartments than houses.
I have enjoyed my project here and time spent in Kingston. I managed to get up into the mountains surrounding the city, where it is much cooler, and have tried and liked the local food including the patties.
I am going from here to Montserrat via Miami and Antigua. Distances in this region are greater than one might think, and connecting flights not that simple.
Devon House - historic property with a good restaurants/shops in the grounds
CBD in New Kingston - view down Knutsford Boulevard
The Hampshire off Trafalgar Road - new apartments