Scores of Jamaicans and US citizens living in and around Jacksonville, Florida, in the United States of America (USA), attended the JN Bank’s “After Work Community Connection,” to learn about investing, real estate opportunities on the market and accessing a mortgage, in Jamaica.
The event was staged by the JN Bank’s Florida Representative Office, in collaboration with its partners: the Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB), the National Land Agency (NLA), and real estate developers; as well as, JN Money Services Limited, a JN member company.
“The purpose of the event was to connect with the community of Jamaicans living in Jacksonville and its surrounding communities. The suite of JN products and services were highlighted; the strength of the brand; and its ability to facilitate investments through various channels,” Janice McIntosh, Chief Representative Officer, JN Bank Florida Representative Office, explained.
“In addition, there were presentations from our preferred partners in Jamaica, developers, realtors, the JMB and the NLA,” she added.
The majority of the participants were interested in investments, followed by real estate developments that were on the market, and acquiring a mortgage in Jamaica.
The JN Bank Representative Officer informed participants that one of the most active areas of growth in Jamaica was real estate.
“The massive growth in the short-term rental market, spurred by the growth of Airbnb, has created new investment opportunities for Jamaicans locally and overseas, to earn much more from the accommodation sector,” Mrs. McIntosh advised.
She also stated that Jamaicans earned in excess of US$9.7 million or more than J$1 billion through Airbnb accommodations in 2017 alone, representing a year-on-year growth rate of 49 per cent.
Mrs. McIntosh added that the growth is expected to continue in 2019, as more Jamaican property owners examined sundry ways to convert their real estate assets into short-term rental accommodations; and cash in on the growing industry, which currently numbers some 3,100 hosts and 5,900 active listings on Airbnb, alone.
She informed participants that JN Bank kept pace with the demands in the real estate sector and, pointed out that the bank’s interest rates, including rates on mortgages, have declined consistently. adding
“Mortgage rates have fallen some six percentage points over the past eight years to single digits,” she explained, noting that “At JN Bank, we are consistently innovating to improve members’ and customers’ capacity to own property.”
Mrs. McIntosh related that in 2018, JN Bank introduced two major initiatives, “Design Your Mortgage” (DYM) and the “DYM Express.” These schemes broadened the options available to persons to finance property purchases and allowed them to achieve ownership in 30 business days or less. Through the DYM, JN Bank provides potential mortgagors with eight options, which include:
- A normal adjustable rate mortgage, which is up to 95 per cent, at a rate determined by the bank, based on cost of funds.
- A fixed rate mortgage to maintain a single interest rate for a fixed period and protects from fluctuations. A variable rate mortgage takes advantage of lower rates on the Government of Jamaica’s 30-day T Bills.
- Mortgage Plus: A mortgage amount and an additional unsecured sum, to cover mortgage-related expenses.
- A Balloon mortgage, which allows you to a pay a lump sum, at an agreed period without penalty
The After Work Community Connection was held at Omni Hotels & Resorts, on Water Street in Jacksonville, Florida.