Home ownership incentives expanded

In its 2023/2024 fiscal year, the government is hoping to make the dream of home ownership even easier to attain, by expanding concessions to housing projects with a maximum value of $300,000 in construction costs per unit, investing in a rent-to-own program, and expanding first home exemption benefits, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Philip Davis revealed yesterday.

Davis, during his communication on the 2023/2024 budget in the House of Assembly, said the dream of home ownership can be realized by Bahamians despite elevated building costs and the limited supply of housing that has driven up home and property prices.

“While the government has no intention of policing the housing market beyond the necessary checks and balances, it is evident that some intervention is needed to assist those in need,” said Davis.

“For that reason, customs duty rates were lowered on select building materials, to alleviate some of the construction costs of new homes.

“We are extending the first home exemption benefits for owner occupied residents up to triplexes.”

Davis said expanding concessions to non-government entities for housing projects that have a maximum value of $300,000 in construction cost per unit should help to address the limited supply of houses in the country.

He added that the government’s rent-to-own program will allow an alternative path to home ownership, through a rent program with an option to buy later.

The Davis administration’s first full budget for the 2022/2023 fiscal year laid out a plan to help Bahamians acquire property and build and renovate homes by relaxing certain taxes.

The budget increased the maximum cap on property taxes for owner-occupied property from $60,000 to $120,000, placing a heavier real property tax (RPT) burden on those who can afford more luxurious properties.

Davis said last year during his budget presentation that the government wants to encourage Bahamians to invest in their country, which is why the government introduced a number of incentives to assist with home purchases.

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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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