Housing relief

REDUCING the supply constraints in the housing market is a sustainable way to keep house prices in check, says Reserve Bank of Fiji deputy governor Ariff Ali.

In recognising this issue, he said Government had announced several policy measures related to the housing industry in recent national budgets.

He said this was in addition to the allocations for a number of housing construction projects.

“Together with Government support, the RBF also provides assistance through concessional lending to the Housing Authority and Public Rental Board to provide affordable housing loans to low income earners. Of the $35million allocated under this facility, $25m has been utilised, ” he said.

While the Real Estate Licensing Board revealed that the real estate market could not be regulated and the price of properties could not be controlled, Mr Ali said property prices had been largely driven by higher demand compared with the supply of real estate from a macroeconomic perspective.

“There have been some measures taken up by the Government to address the issues in the real estate sector,” he said.

“In line with the increased real estate transactions, the Government imposed a capital gains tax return in 2011 on the sale of capital assets. In 2014, Government announced amendments with certain exceptions.”

Mr Ali said this was likely to assist in reducing demand pressures.