Categorized | Business, National News

Construction Increased In First Quarter

The construction industry performed well in the first quarter of 2014, according to the Central Bank’s latest Quarterly Economic Review.

“Construction sector activity continued to be dominated by large-scale foreign investment projects in the hotel sector, as the government’s public sector infrastructure programme tapered,” the report said.

“Data from domestic banks, insurance companies and the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation, suggest a potentially improving outlook for the private housing sector, where total mortgage disbursements for new construction and repairs recovered by 24.1 per cent to $26.4 million, from the prior year’s 22.5 per cent contraction. This turnaround reflected $6.5 million in disbursements for commercial activity, versus a flat position in the prior year and a more than halving in the decline in the residential component, to 6.6 per cent ($1.4 million) from 20.2 per cent.”

The report also noted that data on mortgage commitments for new buildings and repairs—a forward looking indicator—suggest a continuation of positive trends over the near-term, as total commitments rebounded by 36.8 per cent in number.

“That number totalled 160 and firmed by 36.0 per cent in value to $31.0 million,” it said.

“The residential component—at approximately 92.4 per cent of the total—rose by 38.3% in number to 159 and by 26.9 per cent in value to $28.6 million. Although the number of commercial commitments decreased, from 2 to 1, the value was higher by$2.1 million at $2.3 million. In interest rate developments, the average residential loan rate softened relative to the prior year, by 30 basis points to 7.9 per cent.”

The report did explain however, that there was an equivalent rise in the comparative rate for commercial loans, to 8.5 per cent.

The Baha Mar project is one of the projects the government is depending on to boost the construction industry, and the economy overall.

Baha Mar recently announced however that it has delayed its grand opening until late spring 2015.

In a letter leaked to the press two weeks ago, company officials confirmed to employees that a “preview session” will begin at Baha Mar in December leading up to the grand opening in the spring of next year.

The resort was scheduled to open on December 8, 2014.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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