I have read with interest worldwide that it’s a buyers market with regard to housing prices.
However, this does not obtain in Trinidad and Tobago, as the prices for homes are not dropping to the extent where the average person can afford one.
The average cost of a three-bedroom home is $1.2 million, and if we are in an economic recession this price should be drastically reduced. I am seeing some reductions, but not to the extent where the average person like, me can, afford it.
Rent-to-own options are few and far between, with down-payments ranging from $200,000 to $300,000. I commend the few real estate agents who offer this option, but realistically one has to work for over $20,000 to afford this.
I wish to thank Home Construction Ltd, as it provided quality and reasonably priced homes in the 1980s/’90s to lower- and middle-class income-earners. I am sure if this was not done, the HDC application waiting list would have been longer!
There are hundreds of thousands of citizens who are longing for quality, reasonably-priced homes and have given up waiting on the HDC. My fear is that in T&T, maximum profit is the motive and thus the majority may not own a home in this lifetime.
There is the need for a developer like the HCL that can cater for citizens in the $8,000-to-$15,000-per-month category. We need more homes in the $500,000 to $900,000 price range. There are too many people who cannot afford the $1 million-plus homes currently available.
I understand we live in a capitalist economy where demand and supply determine the market prices. In T&T, the housing market does not follow the economic law of demand— but of supply, where high-priced houses dominate the industry.
In other developed countries, the law of demand prevails, where buyers demand less of a costly home. This, in turn, leads to a price reduction of homes, which makes it more affordable to the average worker.
I long for the day when the rent-to-own home options are widely accessible. It may not be the perfect solution, but it is a small step for many citizens who cannot afford a home.