Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 4th 2015 Contents BG4 NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JUNE 2015 • WEEK ONE
It is likely that property prices in the
real estate market may not rise much
further in the future, says Sally Singh,
president of the Association of Real
Estate Agents (AREA).
"The market is still experiencing high levels
of sales and rentals. If prices are not going to
be sustained what we as real estate agents
have to do is look at the demand and supply
in the market. We will have to adjust accord-
ingly. We as agents do not set the prices, we
sell properties, we rent properties, we lease
properties. Of course, it is easier to adjust
upwards, than downwards. That is why we
have regular meetings and try to keep our
members updated on all the economic and
social issues that are involved and everything
else that is relevant to our industry," she said.
Singh referred to University of the West
(UWI) economist Dr Roger Hosein, who said
at an AREA seminar last month that current
real estate prices cannot be sustained and that
past prices were based on an environment
where oil prices were much higher.
She continued by saying that based on what
Hosein said, house prices and prices in the
real estate market are not likely to rise fur-
In her opinion, the group that has been hit
by high property prices is the middle-income
"The sector that has been neglected the
most is the middle class. They fall in a bracket
where they do not have the income facilities
to access and they cannot afford the upper
end of the housing market and they are not
given the sort of the incentives for there. On
the other hand, the lower income sector has
access to the Housing Development Corpo-
ration (HDC) programmes. It is very difficult
for a young professional couple to get anything
under $1 million. That is a challenge. They
may have to depend on their parents or other
means to assist them," she said.
She also said that when one wealthy investor
buys property and then sells at much higher
prices it drives up prices and distorts the mar-
"In the economy and the market there are
a lot of investors who can afford to purchase
property and speculate. So you would have
someone with the capacity to buy ten houses
pre-construction at a reasonable price and
this distorts the market as those prices are
not reasonable to the lower income groups.
That is just one of the many reasons why the
price of properties is so high," she said.
Singh spoke to the Business Guardian at its
Port-of-Spain Bureau two Tuesdays ago.
She was elected as president in May and
will serve for a year. She replaced Mark Edge-
Singh spoke about how the industry has
evolved over the last few decades.
"We came about as there was a need for
professionalism in the real estate industry. In
the 1960s, there were not many real estate
agents and there were probably about five in
Port-of-Spain and even less in San Fernando.
During the 1970s more people started to earn
more income. With the oil boom came a greater
demand for housing and more agents arose.
The problem is that everyone operated with
different guidelines and confusion arose. Many
agents were not doing justice and doing what
they should have been doing.
"By 1990 a group of brokers got together
and decided it was time to have standards and
professionalism. When AREA started there
were about eight broker members and 25 sales-
people. Now we have grown to 58 brokers, 30
sale agents and 15 corporate associate. The
corporate associates would be like bankers and
valuators, people who are associated with the
real estate industry."
One of the main issues the AREA has to
deal with are agents who do not abide by
She also explained that many agents are
not even part of the association.
"Only about 20 per cent of real estate agents
right now are members of the association.
One of my main goals is to have more agents
AREA's new president Sally Singh:
Looks to standardise
real estate prices
Continued on Page 5
About Sally Singh
Sally Singh is a broker at S2 Real Estate
Services and has had in excess of ten years'
experience in the real estate industry.
Singh was elected to AREA's board of di-
rectors on April 29, 2013, became vice presi-
dent on May 12, 2014 and was elected
president of the association on May 12, 2015.
Singh is a graduate of the University of the
West Indies where she holds a Masters in In-
ternational Relations and a BSc in History.
She also has a diploma in marketing from the
Jamaica Institute of Management and Certifi-
cates in Principles of Real Estate Sales and
Real Estate Valuation and is currently pursu-
ing a diploma in real estate brokerage, which
is being offered at Roytec in collaboration
with the Association of Real Estate Agents.
Links Archive June 3rd 2015 June 5th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page