Mon | Jun 18, 2018

NHT retreats from high-income market

Published:Wednesday | October 10, 2012 | 12:00 AM
National Housing Trust head office on Park Boulevard, New Kingston. - File

Avia Collinder, Business Writer

The National Housing Trust (NHT), in an update on upper-income units in its portfolio, said properties valued J$33 million to J$46 million constitute less than one per cent of its portfolio.

The state agency also said it has no immediate plans to repeat the experiment in the upscale segment, which has not gained much traction in the marketplace.

The flirtation with the top-end market began in 2007, when the Trust announced that it would construct five town houses at 37 Paddington Terrace at the same time, it unveiled nine units to be developed at 4-6 Salisbury Avenue with a completion date of August 2008.

The Trust says that the units for both developments were only placed on the market in February 2011 in the case of Salisbury, and in September 2012 for Paddington.

Seven of the total units remain available for sale. They include 4 three-bedroom town houses in Paddington ranging in price from J$33 million to J$46 million; and 8 three-bedroom town houses ranging from J$33 million to J$34.5 million each.

Asked for a read-out on the level of demand in the upper tier, the agency said its demand surveys "have not, in recent times, specifically targeted the upper-income housing market. Therefore, the Trust does not have up-to-date market information to answer these questions".

NHT typically serves the low- to mid-income market segment.

The agency says it has placed 1,437 new solutions on the market for sale between 2010 and 2012, of which upper-income homes accounted for close to one per cent.

Asked what plans it has to introduce more homes in the high-income category in the next 24-month period, the Trust said: "None."

In relation to the seven units available at Paddington and Salisbury, the agency said they were being offered for sale on the open market.

"The NHT requires a deposit of at least five per cent of the price of the property. The Trust will give financing up to the individual loan limit of J$4.5 million per applicant. Therefore, the NHT requires at least a five per cent deposit. Any shortfall between the NHT loan and the purchase price must be financed by the applicant or applicants."