New mayor of Kingston urges developers to follow the law! Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Newly minted Kingston Mayor Andrew Swaby is urging real estate developers to conform to the law and not mislead potential homeowners as they carry out housing developments. 

This is as Swaby promised greater collaboration between the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) and other players in Jamaica’s growing real estate sector. 

Swaby made the call during the opening ceremony of the premier RE/MAX Real Estate Conference and Expo held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on Sunday. He said real estate professionals play an important role in the conveyance process. 

The three-day conference, which opened on Sunday, April 14 and ends on Tuesday, April 16, promises to be a melting pot of ideas from various players in the industry, which was evident from the opening ceremony..

The event is being staged under the theme, ‘Invest in real estate, accelerate your wealth’.

Twelve speakers are slated to contribute over the three-day period, and members of the public have free access to a variety of display booths showcasing the best of Jamaica’s real estate sector. These include developers, financial lending agencies/entities, and construction companies. 

The conference also features investment and personal development coaches, and the organisers say it is an opportunity for Jamaicans to gain a deeper understanding of the real estate market. 

“In days gone by the process of buying or selling house and land was far more simple, or so it appeared. The current regulations facilitate a smoother process, and are necessary to protect the parties involved from suffering financial and other related losses,” Swaby told the gathering. 

Kingston Mayor Andrew Swaby (2nd left) and deputy executive chairperson, Spectrum Capital Holdings Group, Geraldine Adams (centre), are joined in a jovial mood by (from left): Donalda Daley-Martin, regional sales and relationship manager, RE/MAX Jamaica, Yangsen Li, CEO LCH Developments; and Dr Winston Adams, executive chairman, Spectrum Capital Holdings Group, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the RE/MAX Jamaica Premier Real Estate Conference and Expo now on at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. 

“While I understand that the contract with your clients is indeed important, as they set the parameters for how you engage with each other, I want to impress on you all to ensure that the terms of engagement would not breach any other law, in this case the Building and Planning Acts. 

“At the KSAMC, we know that we cannot be on the ground at all times, and so we want to forge a collaborative approach with industry players to ensure that what has been approved is what is constructed and, by extension, is being advertised for sale,” he continued, noting that he had already started meeting with Government and private sector experts to iron out the existing issues. 

More than 700 people turned out on day one on Sunday. 

The speakers include RE/MAX Costa Rica’s regional director, Hannah Rico Fletcher; co-owner RE/MAX Caribbean and Central America Region, Ricky Cardenas; vice-chairman, global Jamaica Diaspora Council, Shauna Chin; vice president, clinical operations and chief nursing executive at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada and top producing realtor, Andrew Duncan.

“Our mission is to help people and companies buy, sell and rent real estate. And for most, their journey to achieving their real estate goals have multiple steps for which they need information, products and services from several entities to achieve,” explained Roger Williams, interim Group CEO of Spectrum Group, which acquired RE/MAX Elite Realty and REMAX Jamaica. 

“With rapidly developing factors ranging from affordability to environmental sustainability to technological disruption, these steps are increasingly evolving. To make it easy for people to navigate this journey, we at RE/MAX decided to bring the knowledge and access required in a single place under one roof,” he noted, encouraging dialogue, ideas and encouragement among the gathering. 

In the meantime, Williams said RE/MAX continues to grow locally, erecting three new offices to serve the market as it grows and where it grows.

“Up to a year ago, we really had two for the 15 years we have been in Jamaica; one in Kingston and one in Montego Bay,” said Williams. “In the last six weeks we have opened three new offices; one in Portmore, one in Drax Hall, (St Ann), and one on Shortwood Road here in Kingston (St Andrew) as well. 

“In the next four or so weeks we are going to be opening one in Negril. We are not stopping there. The developments have been creating opportunities all across the island. So in the next 12 months, we will be opening additional offices in Trelawny, St Mary and Manchester,” he said, noting that St Thomas remains another key location in their plans.