Lister On Business/Homes: Overall A Wise Policy

March 18, 2014

“Overall I think this is a wise policy that is aimed at securing Bermuda’s relationship with international business,” Independent MP Terry Lister said about the recently tabled corporate landholding policy.

Yesterday Education & Economic Development Minister Dr Grant Gibbons held a press conference to discuss the Companies Amendment Act 2014, which will allow local and exempt companies to purchase residential property.

The residential properties they will be allowed to purchase are those already available to ‘restricted persons’, with the Minister saying that there are about 250 high end residential properties in this category, as well as a number of condos that are similarly designated.

Dr. Gibbons discussing the police yesterday:

Mr. Lister said, “The Minister has today outlined a policy that should, on the whole, be welcomed by Bermudians. The fear that these companies will buy up all the land in Bermuda should be reduced when it is realized that the properties that will be available for purchase are those same 250 or so properties that are available for non Bermudians to purchase now.

“Another control factor in place is that there is a limit on how much acreage can be owned by foreigners in each parish. This is the ultimate control feature. What this does is that it creates another group that can buy from this selection of 250 homes.

“What is even more important is that the exempted companies that buy properties will be further cemented to Bermuda. At a time such as this when Bermuda is at risk of flight of IB this move is a plus.

“The most important change is allowing companies to buy raw land. This has never been allowed and this must be controlled. I believe that the companies must be given a time frame by which they must have completed the house to be built on the purchased land. Having these plots of land being sat on will do nothing to stimulate construction and jobs.

“Overall I think this is a wise policy that is aimed at securing Bermuda’s relationship with international business. Of course, this must be monitored to see what results. If it is not successful then Government must act to ensure that the desired goals are achieved.”

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (12)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Betty Dump says:

    Finally… Someone who gets it…

  2. Hmmm says:

    Lister is Wrong – No Surprise.

    Whether a company owns a property will not keep them here. What it will do is take rent paid to a Bermudian out of the economy.

    And Lister is also wrong as this is not limited to 250 high end properties, but also opens up the entire condominium market! So persons with investment properties for rent – those with apartments for rent – may see their rents vanish as companies buy instead of renting.

    Bermuda and Bermudians get screwed – by the OBA as usual. This short term thinking perplexes me.

    • Girl on Fire says:

      At least those condo homeowners can now sell their condo even if they may not be able to get future rent. A nice payout now would certainly help the economy. Given the falling market in rents and the depressed sales prices for condos for the past few years, I know a number of condo homeowners that would qualify and would be delighted to sell – this should increase demand and have a positive effect on sales prices. However, I imagine the impact will be marginal – I can’t see hundreds of transactions happening. But any uplift is welcome these days.

    • jt says:

      By and large you are comparing apples to oranges. The properties in this high end ARV range will not impact the renting of apartments, or even the average investment property.

    • Hmmm says:

      It will put money through property sales tax to the govt. It will create an additional reason to stay or not leave for some companies, it will result in money generation re: maintenance, cleaning, perhaps construction , remods. If new buildings are created then it will also increase land taxes pool on the island.

      This is a plus

    • CBA says:

      Mate, do you own one of these milti-million dollar homes? You’re acting as if the average Bermudian owns a mansion and is collecting rent on it. This isnt going to harm the average Bermudian at all. In fact, what it will do is help the avergae Bermudian by putting money into the economy ranging from the real estate agents selling them, lawyers preparing documents, construction companies doing any upgrades for the new buyers, etc etc. That helps Bermuda a lot more than a wealthy person being stuck with a house they don’t want because they can’t find a buyer.

      The protectionist policies that were put into place by the PLP stalled our economy. It’s time we get it moving again by pumping money through it!

    • Mike Hind says:

      Evidence that they’re lying about the 250?

  3. frank says:

    this will also drive the realestate prices all the way back up

    • Hmmm says:

      perhaps in that sector of the market, but will have a much lesser impact on the rest of the market.

  4. storm in a tea cup says:

    Just get on with it…

  5. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    On the whole a positive move, but one that needs to be monitored closely. This opens another buyers input into was is a limited real estate market. This market is not widely supported by Bermudians, so the impact on the regular Bermuda real estate market will be minimal. Even in the condo sector, there is only a limited of condos that are open to foreign purchasing, so the fears being spread by those that this will rob Bermudian in this area, is bred out of either being misinformed, or trying to spread further misinformation.
    I do agree with Lister that the purchasing of raw land needs to be closely checked, with the assurance that the aim is to build a home on it and not sit on it or to build a commercial residence they would turn around and rent out. This too would need to apply to corporate real estate, I have no problem with an overseas company buying a business property for themselves to operate out of, provided they are domiciled here, but should they seek to commercialize it and rent out office space, they should need to have the land holding based in a local entity with measures that would see most of its revenues remain in the local economy.
    In the whole, it is good to have a government that recognizes the need for foreign capital into our economy and are doing so without diminishing protection for Bermudians, as has been the approach in some other islands.

  6. Unbelievable says:

    Well Mr Lister is also a realtor.