BREA president lauds real estate concessions in budget 

Much of the government’s budget objectives for the real estate sector should garner positive results for those in the industry, newly appointed Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) President Nikki Boeuf told Guardian Business yesterday, explaining also that the government’s real estate incentives should create many first-time homeowners.

Boeuf said the changes the government made to ensure the transfer of property between family members is made easier, will finally make real estate inheritances easier for families.

Boeuf said while the sector could not “get everything it wants” in the Progressive Liberal Party’s first budget, she thinks “very positive initiatives” have been put in place that will advance the sector.

“We expect to have quite a number of first-time homeowners as a result of the initiatives that have been put in place and I think it will incentivize quite a number of new homeowners or people who want to own their own home,” said Boeuf.

“It will have a knock-on effect for everyone, particularly those who are considering succession planning and leaving behind an inheritance. Now people are much more likely to plan and proactively consider how they plan for inheritances to their children, which is very positive.”

Prime Minister Philip Davis announced last week during his 2022/2023 budget presentation that the government will eliminate value-added tax (VAT) on property transfers between joint tenants of a property, eliminate “nuisance fees” in the Stamp Act documents unrelated to the transfer of property or the registering of a financial instrument, and reduce real property tax rates on commercial property in order to spur local investment.

Davis said during his presentation that the government wants to encourage Bahamians to invest in their country and, therefore, introduced a number of incentives to assist with home purchases.

“For Bahamians who dream of home ownership, this dream can soon become a reality,” said Davis.

“Currently, concessions are available for persons who purchase a home for the first time. We are expanding these concessions so that people who purchase a home, or purchase land and construct their first home, or purchase a house and renovate it to be their first home, will receive the same level of concession.

“For those who are constructing or renovating their first home, we also are refunding up to $40,000 in cash for any VAT (value-added tax) paid for construction services or materials purchased, once the occupancy certificate is provided within eighteen months of the commencement of construction.”

Davis’ administration also increased the level of exemption for first-time home buyers from $250,000 to $300,000; reduced VAT on property transfers below $1 million for individuals; and increased the real property tax exemption on owner-occupied properties from 250,000 to 300,000.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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