Language(s): English (Official)
Total Area: 10,991 km2
GDP (PPP): 2011 estimate
Total: $24.750 billion
Per capita: $9,029
Currency: Jamaican dollar (JMD)
Faintful Warrior Colorful is perhaps the word that best sums up Jamaica—its culture, its cuisine, its beaches and reefs, its people. Jamaica is the home of reggae, Rastafari and Bob Marley. Of sand and surf, palm trees and plantation houses, ganja and jerk chicken.
This Caribbean island 90 miles south of Cuba was also the home of the Taino and Arawak peoples. It was discovered by Columbus in 1494, and the Spanish colonized it and defended it against constant pirate raids. In 1655, the British wrested the island from the Spanish, and kept it in their possession until the nation gained its independence in 1962.
Jamaica's housing market has been on a minor upswing. demand for even mid to upper priced homes (worth J$25 million and above) has risen. Professionals, pension funds, and individual buyers, some first-time buyers, are expressing interest in J$25m-worth homes in Kingston 6, Kingston 8, as well as some parts of Kingston 9.
The Realtors Association of Jamaica (RAJ) notes that Multiple Listing Service (MLS) transactions increased from 44 in 2010, to 104 in 2011. Around 75% of RAJ's 365 members subscribe to the MLS.
Prices of apartments and houses have continued stable in Kingston and St Andrews during 2010, continuing the trend of 2009. The exception is a decline in the prices of the largest houses, which fell sharply between 2008 and 2009.
A 3-bedroom apartment in Kingston and St Andrews would cost around US$240,000.
A 3-bedroom house in Kingston and St Andrews would cost around US$330,000.
Gross rental yields remain very strong, especially on apartments, with 2 bedroom apartments reaching yields of around 10%. This would seem to suggest that Jamaica's residential property market is firmly-based.