28 Mar 2012

Confusion over military build-up in Guam drives down property sales

1:11 pm on 28 March 2012

The president of a group of Guam real estate companies says confusion over the United States military build-up has caused a plunge in property sales.

The US has reportedly asked Japan to shoulder more of the cost of the relocation of troops from Okinawa to Guam, now expected to be fewer than 5,000 compared with the 8,000 agreed under a 2006 accord to reorganise US forces in Japan by 2014.

Nick Captain of the Captain Real Estate group says up until a couple of years ago it appeared that the build-up would definitely take place.

But he says on any day of the week now it can be either on or off and on a recent newspaper front page, contradictory articles had it both on and off on the same day.

"From a transaction volume perspective there's been a major impact on the real estate market. Sales have plummeted by about 40 percent from pre-confusion levels, let's say."

Nick Captain says a lot of new houses built in anticipation of the military build-up are empty.