Home Buyers

In our previous article we shared some of the options open to home buyers with a budget over GBP850,000.00/USD1M. As this represents a small segment of the market we will share with our readers today some of those communities in the Kingston and St. Andrew area with property values between GBP200,000 and GBP300,000.00 which are more aligned to the middle and upper income purchaser.

Location as stated before is one consistent theme in our discussions and so our introduction will be to those communities supported by a network of infrastructure and sustained property values. This takes us to the Liguanea, Kingston 6 area where property values hold steadily and increase incrementally over time as this area becomes the new commercial “midtown” and residential outskirt located around a hub of shopping, medical, school and other conveniences. Flanking both sides of the main corridor to the University of the West Indies and University of Technology is Old Hope Road with its juncture at Papine.

Flanking both sides of Old Hope Road are the communities of Hope Pastures and Mona. Mona one of the earlier developments (1950’s) of the renown West Indies Home Contractors Limited (WIHCON) has held its value and aesthetics since inception. The community for the most part, remains owner occupied and a number of the original home owners remain in residence. This community together with Hope Pastures on the western flank, served as housing for the medical and university fraternity. Today tremendous value can be found in these homes with many retaining their original structure.

Up to two years ago an original Mona house could be acquired for the equivalent of GBP150,000.00 but today as demand has soared, prices are hovering in the range of GBP180,000.00. While house prices generally appreciate in Jamaicancurrency terms, due to the devaluation of the Jamaican currency over time, it is unusual to find communities with appreciating values in hard currency terms. Additionally, what makes these communities even more attractive is that the increased populationdensity, makes it difficult to find affordable single family or detached housing solutions. A Mona house lot while averaging around 8,000 square feet, still provides the option for a home owner to expand the base of the single story unit, to a two story unit with anextension to the back of the property. Another attractive feature is that many of the Mona houses were constructed with an extra flat or living quarters to the rear. Many persons expand this facility to provide additional housing space or more commonly the flat is configured to be a self-sustaining unit and rented to university students or as an affordable studio flat.

In the changing landscape of higher density and gated communities, the Mona and Hope Pastures community remain one of the preserved bastions of “green space”. Both have major parks, close proximity to Hope Gardens and the Hope Zoo, and the Mona Dam where persons walk and jog around the perimeter. For families with children a number of notable schools such as Jamaican College, Saint Peter and Paul, Mona Preparatory, Mona Primary are close by. For entertainment, a Cinema is located at the nearby Sovereign Shopping Center in Liguanea.

Another great appeal with Kingston 6 is that there are several other adjoining communities that benefit from the same amenities and are of lower or comparable price. Along the Mona road corridor are the communities of Mona Great House, a gated community with apartment and town house units. Adjoining this complex is the Pines of Karachi community with a number of apartments and single family residences with lot sizes similar to Mona. House prices are within the same range as Mona houses, except these houses do not have a detached unit to the back. Pines of Karachi also provides entry into the Long Mountain Country Club which was developed over 10 years ago. This gated community with pool and club house amenities has seen a steady increase in demand for its 2 and three bedroom attached and detached units.

Straddling Long Mountain is the community of Beverly Hills. This community was created over 50 years ago when developers identified the lower section of the Long Mountain range to build a world class community with an infrastructure to match and in close proximity to the major business hubs in the Corporate area of Kingston & St. Andrew.Given the large floor plans and lot sizes, Beverly Hills is fast regaining interest among home buyers and in the past two years has seen a resurgence in property values.

These are a few of the communities in the Kingston 6 area that we foresee retaining value and it will be interesting to see how this landscape continues to on fold and shape the urban transition and redevelopment of Kingston.