Mon | Feb 24, 2020

The rental market will soon settle down - Llewellyn

Published:Sunday | January 6, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett (second right) speaks with (from left) Jamaica Homesharing Association members Shere-Ann Anderson and Havanah Llewellyn, and Carlos Muñoz of Airbnb Inc, at the launch of Airbnb’s Kingston Host Club.

Havanah Llewellyn, president of the Jamaica Homesharing Association, the body set up by Airbnb to improve the island's offering to the sector, says there is no need to worry about the shortage of houses of long-term rental for young Jamaicans as homeowners look towards foreigners.

According to Llewellyn, as with any new venture, individuals are going to try and maximise their investment, but shortly there will be a balance.

"From an Airbnb perspective, a lot of the developments that you see in Kingston is because there wasn't ample housing for individuals who are coming back to visit family at a reasonable price, and that is why the Kingston market has evolved the way it has. Now there's individuals saying, 'Hey, let me give that a try'," Llewellyn told The Sunday Gleaner.

"The Airbnb market, at some point, may become saturated, so I think that when you look at it short term, you may see everyone jumping in, but just like any business, just because you decide to hang out your shingle, it doesn't mean that you are going to be successful.

"And so individuals right now may be trying to kind of look into that market, but I think it's going to balance out. As with anything, new individuals kind of gravitate towards it to test it out, but I think there's always a reset that allows things to get back to normal," added Llewellyn.

He said just two days ago he spoke with a developer in Spanish Town, St Catherine, who is about to start construction for houses that young professionals can afford.

"He said he's about to clear a piece of land and he's going to build 80 units in the $11 million to $14 million range because everyone is building luxury or hiking up the price," said Llewellyn.