8 Dec 2016

Fiji real estate agent says land laws costing jobs and investment

2:41 pm on 8 December 2016

A real estate agent in Fiji says jobs and investment are being lost by land laws that are driving foreigners to sell their properties.

A 2014 law change required foreigners who owned vacant rural land to build a $US120,000 house within two years or face hefty fines or imprisonment.

Ki-Maren Real Estate agent Aren Nunnink said many landowners who can't afford to meet the requirements are selling up which is driving down prices.

He said it is also costing jobs in the north of Fiji, where many expatriate retirees had purchased land

"The expats who are buying there and building there, they are generating a lot of work for local people in construction, in property maintenance and so on and that's all ended now. None of that investment is happening, none of that economic development is happening. All those people are just wanting to sell up and get out."

Mr Nunnink said locals are drifting down to squatter settlements in Suva as developments in the north stagnate.

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