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Fiji : Budgets to boost housing sector.

The 2013 national budget announcement has been positively labelled by the Housing Authority as a positive incentive to grow the housing sector.

Housing Authority chief executive officer Alipate Naiorosui said, The budget announcement is a tangible commitment to ensuring that every Fijian regardless of gender, financial and social status will have the opportunity to benefit from different housing incentives to encourage home ownership and retention .

The Value Added Tax VAT refund programme was announced to further encourage Fijians who own land to build their home in the new year by providing a refund for those that build a house with the intention to reside in it up to a maximum of $120,000.

In 2013, if a citizen built a house worth $50,000 for the purpose of living in it, they would be able to claim a VAT refund of approximately $6,500 and similarly if a house was built to the value of $100,000 the refund would equate to $13,000.

Ultimately the substantial refund from building a house can be used by the new home owner to either reduce their home loan meaning that they pay their mortgage sooner or they will be able to use this money to pay for their children s education or put it into a savings account.

The VAT refund is timely as the lots at Tacirua East Stage 2, Wainibuku and Waila city are scheduled for delivery in 2013. This refund scheme will provide the impetus to encourage the construction of new houses as well as create employment in the construction industry , Nairosui said.

The VAT refund scheme is a very progressive approach taken by the Fijian Government to encourage Fijians across the country to own a home and also to foster the growth of our housing construction industry. This positive incentive has never been introduced before and at this level to encourage those that are currently renting or staying with family to own a home and also obtain low interest rates available in the market.

Another significant step for the housing sector is the announcement of the Reserve Bank loan to Housing Authority targeted at low and middle income Fijian families.

As part of the budget announcement, the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama also highlighted the partnership between the Reserve Bank of Fiji and Housing Authority. The $25 million loan will allow the Housing Authority to provide low income earners an opportunity to access affordable and accessible financial services to purchase land, build a house or to purchase an existing residential property in 2013 , Naiorosui added.

In the 2008 2009 Household Income and Expenditure Survey, 27 percent of Fijians who reside in urban centres earn $16,500 or less while 77 percent earn $30,000 or less.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Dec 1, 2012
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