President's Message

 

Dear Members, Clients, and Stakeholders,

 

Over the last year there has some important changes to the structure of the Barbados Estate Agents & Valuers Association (BEAVA). I therefore wish to take this opportunity to clarify what these changes are, and why they have been made.

BEAVA has historically been comprised of Real Estate Agents, Property Managers, & Property Appraisers / Valuers. All of these professional disciplines in the past were often handled by members whose job took on multiple roles. i.e. it was common that a real estate agent would also do appraisals and manage property. 

As these professions have progressed there has been less cross-over between the various disciplines by members and a strive for increased professionalism.  As a result the board of BEAVA decided in 2016 that the time was opportune to restructure the association. Consequently rather than the association being run by one board, it has been restructured into an Executive Board, a Real Estate Council, and a Valuation Council.

Under the new structure the Valuers have created two member categories and classified all existing valuer members into each category. These categories are Residential Valuer and Professional Valuer. The critical difference between the two is that a Residential Valuer can only appraise residential property, and a Professional Valuer can appraise both residential and commercial property because they have obtained a professional designation such as MRICS or AACI.

The Real Estate council is actively working on the launch of BEAVA’s updated website, planning an educational seminar, and liaising with the Valuers Council on the creation of a database of historical sales. Such a database will be a great help in providing the Valuers and Agents with recent comparable market data.

Regarding the market, the IMF predicts that the Barbados economy will have positive growth in 2017. Despite this news I anticipate that the real estate market sale will continue to be challenging so long as the Pound remains at record lows vs the US$. Many analysts are predicting that the pound is likely to start to rise as the formal BREXIT plans become clear, but there is a possibility of a further decline before this happens. In addition the Barbados Government continues to have balance sheet problems with an unsustainable deficit.

One of the Government’s strategies to reduce the deficit and increase revenues is the requirement for all persons selling a property to obtain a tax clearance certificate. This means that in addition to a seller having to have paid all of their land tax, they must also show that they owe no income tax, excise tax, NIS, or VAT to the Barbados Government. If they do owe, then they will need to pay at least 10% and commit to a payment plan.

I am not confident that these new measures will have the desired effect over the short term. In fact it is entirely possible that these measures could cause a reduction in sale transactions, which in turn will cause the Government to earn less Stamp Duty, and Transfer Tax.  The other obvious effect is that real estate agents may sell less property and valuers may conduct less appraisals.

I sincerely hope that I am proved wrong, but either way, it goes without saying that the next year in Barbados will be very interesting as the Government attempts to reduce the deficit and also plan for a general election next year. 

As we continue into the latter half of 2017 BEAVA remains committed to the development of the real estate, property management, and valuations professions. We urge all persons practicing in these disciplines to become a member of BEAVA and encourage the public to work with BEAVA members. Our members adhere to a strict code of ethics and professional standards in order to ensure that you receive the best service possible. 

 

Sincerely,

Paul Alleyne – President

 

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