Real Estate - Property Matters by Afra Raymond
PROPERTY MATTERS - Articles written by Afra Raymond

REAL ESTATE is the term used to refer to property - for example, houses, land, commercial buildings and apartments - and it is one of the principal investments undertaken by most families, even when we include the high-net-worth people who are no doubt reading this! This is the start of a new series to discuss the real estate market in Trinidad & Tobago.

See also this new series of articles on Public Procurement.

Afra Raymond - Property Matters

The author of these articles, Afra Raymond, is the Managing Director of Raymond & Pierre Limited. Feedback can be sent to Business Guardian PROPERTY MATTERS appears on Thursdays in the Trinidad Guardian newspaper and Online Guardian
Article # Title Date Published
230 Social Housing Notes 10th July 2019
229 Hyatt Regency Notes 26th June 2019
228 The Show Tell Hotel 5th June 2019
227 New Public Housing 29th May 2019
226 Notes on Resort Development 23rd May 2019
225 Notes on Hotel Sales 2nd May 2019
224 The No Tell Hotel 24th April 2019
223 Anything for a buck - Part 3 18th April 2019
222 Anything for a Buck - Part 2 10th April 2019
221 Anything for a Buck 3rd April 2019
220 Sandals Shuffle 27th March 2019
219 Filling the Gap 13th March 2019
218 Cycle of Consequences 7th March 2019
217 The Curepe Interchange 27th February 2019
216 Checking out State owned Hotels 20th February 2019
215 Hotel Reservations 13th February 2019
214 Tobago Sandals MoU-MoU 6th February 2019
213 Tobago Sandals Silence 24th January 2019
212  Tobago Sandals Roles 9th January 2019
211 The Sandals Re-MoU 1st January 2019
210 The Sandals MoU Part Three 19th December 2018
209  Tobago Sandals MOU Part 2 12th December 2018
208 Tobago Sandals MOU 5th December 2018
207 The Benefit of the Doubt for Tobago Sandals 21st November 2018
206 Sandals Splinters 31st October 2018
205 The Sandals Case 24th October 2018
204 The Petrotrin Case 10th October 2018
203 Open Contracting? Part 2 27th September 2018
202 Open Contracting? 19th September 2018
201 The Housing Gap Part 2 12th September 2018
200 The Housing Gap Part 1 7th September 2018
199 Invader's Bay again 29th August 2018
198 The Stormwater Management Committee 22nd August 2018
197 Sandals MoU - Part 3 4th July 2018
196 Sandals MoU - Part 2 27th June 2018
195 Sandals MoU? 20th June 2018
194 More Property Tax FAQs Part 3 13th June 2018
193 More Property Tax FAQs Part 2 6th June 2018
192 More Property Tax FAQs 2nd June 2018
191 St Augustine Nurseries Part 3 24th May 2018
190 St Augustine Nurseries Part 2 17th May 2018
189 St Augustine Nurseries 10th May 2018
188 Eden Gardens Case 2nd May 2018
187 Sandals MoU 8th March 2018
186 Digital Transformation in our Tourism 21st February 2018
185 Trinidad Hilton Improvements 14th February 2018
184 State Land Acquisition 25th January, 2018
183 The Procurement Gap 21st December 2017
182 The Ethics Gap - Part Five 13th December 2017
181 The Ethics Gap - Part Four 6th December 2017
179 The Ethics Gap Part Two 22nd November 2017
178 The Ethics Gap  15th November 2017
177 The Gap Analysis 1st November 2017
176 Horses for Courses 25th October 2017
175 Tobago Sandals Part 3 5th October 2017
174 Tobago Sandals Part 2 27th September 2017
173 Tobago Sandals 20th September 2017
172 Property Tax Setbacks 21st May 2017
171 Property Tax Setbacks (PDF) 19th May 2017
170 Property Tax FAQs 4th May 2017
169 HDC Acts 28th March 2017
168 HDC Financing 22nd March 2017
167 Achieving Affordability 15th March 2017
166 The Affordability Hoax 8th March 2017
165 Board Games Again 29th January 2017
164 State Housing Facts 8th January 2017
163 Invader's Bay - Part 2 7th December 2016
162 Invader's Bay 1st December 2016
161 Examining Public Private Partnership 16th November 2016
160 Tax Facts - Part 2 9th November 2016
159 Tax Facts - Part 1 26th October 2016
158 Sole Selectives 26th October 2016

POS development prospects

19th October 2016
156 Hotel Facts 21st September 2016
155 Pay Day - Part 2 16th September 2016
154 Pay Day 8th September 2016
153 Sandals Tobago 18th August 2016
152 Invader's Bay Reboot 25th June 2016
151 Housing Issues - Part 6 14th April 2016
150 Housing Issues - Part 5 30th March 2016
149 Housing Issues - Part 4 10th March 2016
148 Housing Issues - Part 3 24th February 2016
147 Housing Issues - Part 2 4th February 2016
146 Housing Issues - Part 1 21st January 2016
145 State Offices - Part 2 13th January 2016
144 State Offices - Part 1 8th January 2016
143 Setting the Table 2nd November 2015
142 Budget Review 2016 22nd October 2015
141 Our Land - The Review 17th September 2015
140 Facing the Facts 13th August 2015
139 Facing the Facts on Invader's Bay: Invader's Bay Corrective 12th August 2015
138 Our Land - The Caroni Case Part 2  
137 Our Land - The Caroni Case  
136 Our Land 2nd April 2015
135 Riding the Dragon 19th March 2015
134 Balancing the Scales 21st January 2015
133 Invader's Bay - Suspicious Motives 26th November 2014
132 Re-Route Reboot 29th October 2014
131 Re-Route Truth 24th September 2014
130 Housing Strategy requires 'disciplined effort' 1st September 2014
128 People Say 13th August 2014
127 Reality Check 30th July 2014
125 None So Blind 18th July 2014
124 Money is the Problem 9th July 2014
123 Paying the Price 24th June 2014
122 The Elephant in the Room Part 2 29th May 2014
121 The Elephant in the Room 14th February 2014
120 The Uff Bluff 10th January 2014
119 Letter to the Editor - UDECOTT's Failure to Consult Response 23rd December 2013
118 Invader's Bay Review 23rd December 2013
117 Invaders Bay: Part 3 - MORE Invaders Bay Ingredients 8th November 2013
116 Invader's Bay: Part 2 - All the Ingredients for Bobol... 1st November 2013
115 Invader's Bay Payday? 9th October 2013
114 Property Tax Facts October 2013
113 Charting Our Losses: 'A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words' 9th May 2013
112 Calcutta Settlement Review 14th March 2013
111 Calcutta Settlement Again 20th February 2013
110 From THA/BOLT to Calcutta - tangled webs: Part 2 1st February 2013
109 From THA/BOLT to Calcutta - tangled webs: Part 1 23rd January 2013
108 The Real Deal 28th October 2012
107 Only a matter of time 27th October, 2011
106 The Needs Assessment 13th October, 2011
105 Proper Procurement Practice 6th October, 2011
104 Spending and Savings 29th September, 2011
103 Taking Stock 18th August, 2011
102 State Enterprise Accounts 11th August, 2011
101 The EFCL Query Part 3 19th July, 2011
100 The EFCL Query Part 2 14th July, 2011
99 The EFCL Query Part 1 3rd July, 2011
98 The Business of Government 24th April, 2011
97 Reforming UDECOTT 24th February, 2011
96 Housing Policy Review as an element of the Welfare State 20th January, 2011
95 2010 Review 30th December, 2010
94 Some considerations on Property Tax 9th December, 2010
93 Creating a Context – the role of planning 2nd December, 2010
92 Some comments on the property and construction proposals of Budget 2011 23rd September, 2010
91 Housing Policy Imperatives – Part 6 2nd September, 2010
90 Housing Policy Imperatives – Part 5 5th August, 2010
89 Housing policy imperatives – Part 4 22nd July, 2010
88 Housing policy imperatives – Part 3 8th July, 2010
87 Housing policy imperatives – Part 2 1st July, 2010
86 Housing policy imperatives – Part 1 24th June, 2010
85 Healing our capital's Heritage buildings 3rd June, 2010
84 The Uff Report - Learning the Lessons - Part 4 6th May, 2010
83 Learning the Lessons of the UdeCOTT fiasco - Part 3 29th April, 2010
82 Learning the Lessons of the UdeCOTT fiasco - Part 2 22nd April, 2010
81 Learning the Lessons of the UdeCOTT fiasco - Part 1 15th April, 2010
80 An overview of the Uff Report 8th April, 2010
79 The FINANCIAL IMPACT of UDeCOTT’s operations 1st April, 2010
78 Preparing for the worst – Some implications of a major earthquake on Trinidad & Tobago 11th February, 2010
77 End-notes on the Uff Commission 17th December, 2009
76 The Uff Commission - The Final sitting 6th December, 2009
75 The Central role of Local Government reform 5th November, 2009
74 The proposed 2010 review 29th October, 2009
73 Challenge for the TTRA 15th October, 2009
72 Property Tax – An Overview 8th October, 2009
71 The Uff Commission – A Final Fix? 1st October, 2009
70 The Uff Commission – A Quality Finish? 17th September, 2009
69 The Uff Commission – Foundation Failure? 10th September, 2009
68 The Uff Commission – The Final Chapter 3rd September, 2009
67 Cleaver Heights – The tangled web 22nd March, 2009
66 Testing UDeCOTT’s claims 1st February, 2009
65 The HDC’s project delivery deficit 25th January, 2009
64 The Uff Commission 18th January, 2009
63 End of Year (2008) Review 15th December, 2008
62 Bubble Trouble 4th December, 2008
61 A Private Sector View on Squatting
Presented 20th November – Symposium on Squatter Management – Hyatt Regency
27th November, 2008
60 What is the holistic plan? 13th November, 2008
59 Planning for the New transportation network 6th November, 2008
58 P3 and the proposals 23rd October, 2008
57 Planning and the 2009 budget 9th October, 2008
56 Reflections on Independence 18th September, 2008
55 RBTT’s new HQ 7th August, 2008
54 The Udecott check list 31st July, 2008
53 THE UDECOTT OFFICE PROJECTS - The sense of things 17th July, 2008
52 THE UDECOTT OFFICE PROJECT - Medium-term consequence 10th July, 2008
51 Udecott Charges - a Commission with a Mission 26th June, 2008
50 The Udecott Program - The What and the When 19th June, 2008
49 The Udecott Program - Some Implications 12th June, 2008
48 The Udecott strategy ‘A considerable concentration of power’ 29th May, 2008
47 More Thoughts on Tobago Hilton 8th May, 2008
46 The Tobago Hilton Story 24th April, 2008
Economic and Financial Planning
25th October, 2007
Economic and Financial Aspects
18th October, 2007
Reflections on Republic Day
27th September, 2007
No public process of Planning
20th September, 2007
The Office Crunch
13th September, 2007
40 CAPITAL CONCERNS Part 2 cont'd
Implications of new office buildings
6th September, 2007
New office buildings
30th August, 2007
38 CAPITAL CONCERNS Part 1 23rd August, 2007
37 Critique of State housing policy Part 3
Targeting agriculture lands
16th August, 2007
36 Critique of State housing policy Part 2
Who qualifies?
9th August, 2007
35 Critique of State housing policy Part 1 2nd August, 2007
34 Government must allocate monies so public servants can maintain State property
One of my favourite quotes is from Albert Einstein, who defined idiocy as “endlessly repeating the same process, hoping for a different result.” Some food for thought as we strive to do better at managing our limited resources.
18th November, 2004
33 The Management of State property
These are our resources and we can be sure that no minister or senior public servant would allow their home or business place to crumble in that fashion.
4th November, 2004
32 Beauty of the Savannah
This week we examine the role of the Queen's Park Savannah in the development of our capital city and its lessons for the future.
7th October, 2004
31 Protecting Your Property
This week we are looking at the roles of insurance in maintaining property values.
30th September, 2004
30 Our Planning System - Part 3
This week we conclude our look at our planning system and its impact on property values here.
23rd September, 2004
29 Our Planning System - Part 2
There is a permanent tension between the constitutional rights of landowners to develop their property and the duty of the planning authorities to limit those rights
16th September, 2004
28 Our Planning System
The purpose of having a planning system is to balance the valid interests of landowners against those of the wider community, including the generations to come, to secure national development
9th September, 2004
27 This business of Real Estate
Ms. Patricia Lazarri, AREA’s president, in a recent ‘Newsday’ article, outlined the benefits the new system would bring to the consumer and we are engaging those points here.
2nd September, 2004
26 The Vision for San Fernando - Part 2
The noted imbalance in the national allocation of resources and facilities between north and south Trinidad is even more remarkable when we consider that since 1991 we have had Prime Ministers from South
26th August, 2004
25 San Fernando - A Unique City
Most of our country’s wealth derives from our oil and gas reserves and further, most of these resources are to be found in the southern part of  Trinidad.
19th August, 2004
24 Chaguanas – Part II - Bursting at the seams
The organic and unplanned development of Chaguanas belies its great potential as an examplar for the nation. The borough is not yet caught in the depth of problems that beset our other cities so we therefore have an opportunity to develop a city to the very best level we can.
12th August, 2004
23 Chaguanas – Trinidad’s fastest growing town
We are starting a two-part look at Chaguanas Trinidad’s fastest growing town. When one considers the extent and quality of the developments there, it is easy to understand why some people call Chaguanas the “new capital of Trinidad.”
29th July, 2004
22 Transformation of St Clair
This week we will examine St Clair more closely, since very important changes are taking place in this long-established district.
8th July, 2004
21 Downtown losing its appeal
This week we will conclude by examining the major upcoming developments in Port-of-Spain.
1st July, 2004
20 Changing shape, flavour of PoS - Part II
This week we will look more closely at these trends, in particular the shift by commercial users to the western and northern fringes of the capital.
24th June, 2004
19 Closer look at PoS
Our capital city is the subject of the next three articles. We intend to look at the health and future of Port-of-Spain.
17th June, 2004
18 Throwing out the baby
Over the last fortnight there have been a series of claims and counter-claims in the controversial Roystonia housing scheme. How can we try to make some sense of the confusing new picture?
30th May, 2004
17 Policy and transparency
This week we conclude the series on Caroni by considering the proposals for its future.
27th May, 2004
16 The real Roystonia story
This week we take a necessary pause from the Caroni series to look at some of the issues arising from the furore over the Roystonia Development in Couva North.
20th May, 2004
15 Caroni Lands — Part II
This week we will be examining the various considerations which would come into play in devising a policy for the redistribution of Caroni’s lands.
13th May, 2004
14 Caroni Lands — Part I
Our nation’s interest demands that we recognise that the Caroni lands are too big, too important and too valuable to be the preserve of any single group or political party.
6th May, 2004
13 How long will the property bubble last?
This week we examine some of the factors expected to affect the property market in the medium-term, foreseeable future. The present market conditions cannot continue forever and the burning question is: when will they change?
29th April, 2004
12 The property ‘bubble’ — Part 1
The people who actually produce the properties are themselves having their behaviour changed by the new environment in terms of the appraisal they make before investing in a project.
22nd April, 2004
11 Taxing thoughts on property – Part 4
Closing points on Stamp Duty

Only a fortnight ago we heard the pointed criticism of one of our leading businessmen, Mr Arthur Lok Jack, on the fact that most of our national budget is spent on recurrent expenditure with only a small part devoted to capital creation
15th April, 2004
10 Taxing thoughts on property – Part 3
Taxation of rental income

Rental income in this country is a healthy stream of money and a significant number of the people making the false claims are well-off.
8th April, 2004
9 Taxing thoughts on property - Part 2
Land & Building taxes

The Land & Building tax was originally intended to raise finance for the operation of local government and its level is meant to relate to the rental value of the property. In order for the taxes to respond to changes in market value, it is necessary for regular revaluations to be carried out.
25th March, 2004
8 Taxing thoughts on housing
Property owners expect, rightly in my view, a high level of support from the State since this will be to their ultimate benefit. The corresponding question of whether, as a group of beneficiaries, they are equitably taxed is a potent one
18th March, 2004
7 The shape of things to come
There is an unavoidable connect between the physical environment and the type of interactions which are likely to flourish within that space. The state of our nation - I am referring to the physical state here - is a powerful reflection of our view of ourselves.
11th March, 2004
6 'Coded Racism' in housing message
The entire issue smells of a kind of 'coded' racism disturbingly reminiscent of the mini-furore recently raised by Westmoorings residents.
4th March, 2004
5 Finding a place called home
Given present levels of land/property values, wages and the general diminution of steady employment, how realistic is it to promote the idea that a benchmark of success is property ownership?
19th February, 2004
4 How the State finances housing
It is important to understand that the State can finance its policies in 2 principal ways, by spending the money raised from taxes or by granting tax concessions to particular types of activity and individuals.
12th February, 2004
3 Home Sweet Home
Real issue is quantity of ownership not quality of housing How is our nation housed? Is our housing of adequate quality and quantity? Is it reasonable to expect present State Housing policies to produce an improvement in the areas of shortfall?
29th January, 2004
2 COST vs. VALUE - The issue of real value
What is real Value?

Cost and value are two of the central concepts used to assess property investments. We therefore need to understand the way these differ and more importantly, the way in which they relate to each other.
22nd January, 2004
1 The REAL deal on property
Despite the high level of national income and development, it is always amazing to reflect on the high numbers of our fellow citizens who are housed in the informal sector, which is also commonly called squatting - some reliable estimates put the numbers as high as 25% of our population.
8th January, 2004

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