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Middle income professionals want govt address their property needs
Government needs to address the needs of middle income professionals with regard to real estate matters because, according to Richard Saunders, President of the T&T Group of Professionals Association, they provide a buffer in any society. Saunders said he is looking forward to tomorrow’s budget in anticipation that will address that urgent need in the real estate market place.
“The net income area is where a lot of property is required. Many people are served by the HDC. There is a need for a middle income kind of market. That has to be addressed urgently. The government has been doing low income but there have not been many projects targeting middle income people. “Government needs to have some kind of intervention. A wide cross section of the population are not being catered to. All the prices on the market are not matching the earning of a middle income couple.”
Saunders added: “There has to be a programme where they provide land for the low income. You have to start with low priced land and then add the construction, not high priced land. We need to see how it could be done. The government has the largest amount of land to make a positive intervention.” Saunders said while the real estate market is governed by the wider economy, there cannot be reckless spending. However, he felt there is good evidence that “things are starting to happen again.”
“The real estate generally follows the wider economy. When people make profits they invest in real estate whether it be doctors or other professionals. They buy land or property. The economy has been under a little bit of stress. You would expect it would not be as active as the period when we had significant economic activity. Real estate is cyclical.”
Comparing T&T to the US market, Saunders said: “There has been a small drop in prices but not as significant as in the United States or North American markets. There has been some fall. Most of the property owners were confident it would have bounced back.” Although the price of property dropped significantly, people did not dispose of their property locally.
“Compared to what it was two or three years we are bottoming out. We are moving into the upswing. I think the government would continue to stimulate the market to generate activity. We have to control spending clearly. We cannot be irresponsible with spending. We cannot be profligate...engage in reckless spending. We have to be judicious. But given overall indicators, we would see some growth. We would see some improvement,” said Saunders.
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