President of the Realtors Association of Jamaica, Andrew James, is encouraging consumers to widen their search for affordable housing beyond the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA).
The traditional affordable housing zones in the St Catherine area are recommended and for the more long-term buyer, the parish of St Thomas is also a contender for affordable housing.
“The truth is, the city is where you pay the premium in prices for housing and that is anywhere in the world. The central business district is where all the business takes place and the highest and best use will be considered. So one has to understand that affordable housing is competing with other factors.”
For reference, the KMA is defined by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica as:
“Right now, the asking price of US$1.6 million is what the market demands for a one acre in the Kingston 6 area because of demand and supply factors in real estate.”– President of the Realtors Association of Jamaica, Andrew James
The parishes of Kingston and the suburban section of St Andrew. KMA is situated on the Leeward side of the Blue Mountains, and spans between 60 – 70 square miles (155 – 181 km Â²). The area is relatively flat, stretching from sea level in the south across the Liguanea Plain to an average height of 1,250 feet (381m) in the foothills of the Blue Mountains in the north. In 2001, the KMA comprised eighty-six (86) Special Area communities and a total population of 651,742. The highest population concentration of the KMA occurred in areas encircling the downtown business district, and stretching to occupy a north-west wedge formed by Spanish Town road and Washington Boulevard. Communities like Tower Hill, Seaview Gardens and Delacree Pen are a part of this wedge.”
Adding to his argument, James said, “Let us look at Kingston where there is a great demand for residential, commercial, office and warehousing space. And so in Kingston, you will also have to look at apartments because the demand is there. Right now, the asking price of US$1.6 million is what the market demands for a one acre in the Kingston 6 area because of demand and supply factors in real estate.”
Therefore, he suggests that persons looking to buy within a certain budget look to, “other areas in the island where the land is cheaper. The further you go from the city, you don’t have so many competing factors. It goes back to highest and best use. A land owner knows that a developer wants to use the land a particular way and prices accordingly.”