Bayshore unveils new website


For survival in this tech savvy world, we need to have a presence and a product which is customer friendly and easy to use.

This has prompted Bayshore Real estate to revamp itself and bring a product which is user friendly, faster to use and offers viewers a chance to find a solution to their housing needs whether it be a rental or the purchase of a lot of land.

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New $40mil project for Nadi


Wailoaloa Developments Pte Limited earlier this week carried out the groundbreaking ceremony for their $40 million Palm Beach Estate Townhouses Project at Wailoaloa, Nadi.

The company, fully owned by Hari Punja and Sons, said the development was launched at a level that was not previously available in Fiji.

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Sofitel's $30M Facelift

The renovations and refurbishment are being done with minimum disruptions to guests.

Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa’s $30 million refurbishments will set this renowned resort apart from many other resorts in Fiji. The latest area under refurbishment is the arrival area at the entrance,foyer and reservations and with the images showing what the transformation would look like, the sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa will surely set itself apart from major tourist destinations in Fiji.

The resort has already completed the refurbishment of the famous Watui Beach Club and its rooms, the newly built Kid’s Club and restaurants including the new concept Bazaar kitchen.

The new buffet restaurant is the first of its kind in Fiji and features seven interactive kitchens French,Fijian,Arabic, Indian,Japanese,Chinese and American Grill.

Republik Nightclub

The resort opened its $1.6million Republik Nightclub in December and is the only nightclub on Denarau Island which features international disc jockeys on special occasions.

The resort’s director of sales and marketing Michael Bell said the entrance and foyer had been closed.

” Yes this is currently offline for renovation till early March 2020,” Mr Bell said.

He added the resort ahd received excellent feedback for both the Republik Nightclub as well as the Baazar Kitchen.

” This year the resort would be looking at the renovations and refurbishment of three wings of guest rooms on the family section.

” We are in discussions to possibly add another wing of rooms, about 66 rooms in total to the hotel.

” The wing would run down the family side of the resort next to our boundary with Hilton”.

However Mr Bell did not disclose when work on this new additional wing would start.

The renovations and refurbishment are being done with minimum disruptions to guests.

Credit: FijiSun


More land and housing package developers needed: Khan

Concerns continue to be raised by real estate agents regarding the lack of affordable housing.

Director of Bayshore Real estate Arif Khan believes there are lots of housing issues and more units need to be built to overcome the shortage which is a contributing factor to the house pricing.

“We need to have more land and housing package developers so the more houses can be developed. This will be in line with what the government’s policies have been towards promoting affordability.”

“There needs to be a road map to increase more housing units to take the pressure of pricing and affordable housing. Realestate is important driver of the economy as well and more housing construction with lower interest rates will help stimulate the market as well.  Land is relatively affordable so in line with incentives by the government, we should attract investors who have the capacity to deliver house and land packages.”

Meanwhile, the Association of Banks has clarified that under the government’s initiative banks provide rates as low as 4.25 per cent to support the housing sector.

“For young people, there is a government’s initiative to assist young people to own a house. So in those sectors, banks provide rates as low as 4.25 per cent fixed for five years.”

Association chair Rakesh Ram commercial banks also allow roll-over of fixed rates on a case by case basis after the 12 months.

Credit: Fbc

Date: 24/1/2020

Unrealistic prices of properties a challenge: Khan


Dealing with vendors who are unrealistic with their property prices is a challenge for the real estate agents.

Director of Bayshore Real estate Arif Khan says the market has been slow however it has remained positive in some parts of the country.

Khan says buyers are not willing to purchase properties that are priced higher than the valuation price and this is affecting the current market.

“Maybe the Suva market is a little bit slower but were are seeing the activities in the areas like Nadi and Lautoka for properties that are priced right. Generally, owners tend to ask for prices which is higher than the valuation price.”

Khan says the real estate market has been slow however it has remained positive in some parts of the country.

Credit: FBC

Date: 23/1/2020

Affordability and credit access major contributor to housing slump

Affordability and credit access is a major contributor affecting the real estate sector.

Real Estate Agents believe buying houses has become an expensive affair as people are not able to access funds to invest in the sector.

The Board believes Fijians at times don’t have enough security to get a loan, however, the banking sector says there are many options available to Fijians.

Director of Bayshore Real estate Arif Khan says the capital city has been the most affected by a slump in sales due to access to loans.

“Credit access to loans is a determining factor. I certainly hope banks will not increase the rates which will make affordability harder. If you look at our neighbours in Australia they reduce the interest rates which has stimulated the housing markets.”

The Association of Banks in Fiji Chair Rakesh Ram says all commercial banks are providing competitive home loan packages.

“For the personal housing sector both, residential and residential investment loans, all commercial banks are providing highly competitive home loan packages and interest rates in the market. These range from 4.5 percent to five percent fixed for a year.”

Ram says the variable rate is around seven percent.

He adds commercial banks allow roll over of fixed rates on a case by case basis after the 12 month period.

Credit: FBC

Date: 23/1/2020

VAT Act Consultations To Roll Out This Month

Fiji Revenue and Customs Service chief executive officer Visvanath Das.

Individuals have been urged to register their personal details online in a digital portal provided by the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service.

Chief executive officer Visvanath Das made the comment last week at the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation where business discussions centered on FRCS’s online taxpayer system.

The gathering of around 50 employers were aimed at encouraging businesses to captialize on the registration processes available online.

“If you have not registered your business, you’re distorting the level playing field,” he said.

The online sign up process involved in phase one of FRCS $48 million online project comes with a one-time log in code,he said.

Mr Das said the response to the need to register was slow because of thr holiday season.

“A lot of people thought the first phase was mandatory.

“But we wanted to hold hands with our customers to do it on time, online.”

He said the online portal worked well to identify individuals and companies who were not registered.

Mr Das said the system was designed to reject claims submitted by companies that had not registered.

“We expected noise and it did happen. But please work with us to get over it.”

He said smaller businesses today would grow to be bigger businesses tomorrow.

“We welcome feedback on how to make business better because we want the level of businesses to rise.”

FRCS charges a dollar a day for late lodgement, he said. Mr Das said a two months grace period is in place to waiver penalties incurred through late lodgement.

Tax clearance licences will also be made available online, Mr Das said while explaining the need to go 100 per cent paper-free in all application processes.

Mr Das said kiosks were set up at all FRCS centers for business to register as he urged small and medium enterprises to sign up.

“You can visit our offices to initiate the process. It’s not mandatory to file everything online.”

FRCS is moving into phase two of the project which will enable online payments, Mr Das said.

Mr Das said there were plans to improve the Value Added Tax legislation in a bid to address the e-commerce market, which sold items online without paying any means of tax.

“When you see someone wearing a new sari every week, you know there is something wrong,” he said of online sales where imported items were sold through social website mediums.

“That’s going to change.”

To concerned members who queried measures of strengthening the system against tax fraud, Mr Das said everything had an audit trail online.

Consultations on the VAT Act will roll out this month, Mr Das said.

“Let’s find solutions, not park the project because of hiccups.”

Credit: Fiji Sun

Date: 20/1/2020

Low-income earners cannot afford adequate housing: REALB


The Real Estate Agents Licensing Board has revealed that there are lots of factors that affect real estate properties including the ability of people to pay.

REALB Chair Dr Abdul Hassan says low-income earners cannot afford adequate housing space and therefore do not enjoy the right standard of living in the country.

Dr Hassan says low income is one factor that affects their market as not many activities are taking place.

“People are still struggling with the cost of living and other factors. That has been one of the reasons why people are a bit hesitant to invest in properties particularly properties that are of very high values in the market.”

Dr Hassan says the market of properties is going to depend on the supply and demand factor.

He adds rural to urban drift is another factor affecting the market.

Credit: FBC

Date: 21/1/2020

There is distortion in the real estate market: Dr Hassan


A slowdown in the Real Estate market has resulted in fewer jobs for valuers.

There are 60 registered valuers in the country, but only about 10 to 15 of them are finding work in the field according to the Valuers Registration Board.

The board believes the market is not as uniform as it should be.

Board Chair Dr Abdul Hassan says there is distortion in the current real estate market.

“Hopefully, this will pick up in the latter part of the year and this is the main concern. Otherwise, the market is not as uniform as it should be and there is a distortion in the market.”

Dr Hassan says there are lots of factors which affect real estate properties and their evaluation, including the ability of people to pay.

“One major constraint would be the availability of funds from the land institutions. The other is the income level of the people. If they do have a certain level of income where they could spend on housing then definitely the market will be there for the properties.”

The Valuers Registration board has also confirmed that all the banks have their own panel of valuers and will not accept the report from anyone who is not on their panel.

Credit: FBC

Date: 21/1/2020