MARKET ANALYSIS DOCUMENT4: THE SMHDF, DOES NOT WANT THE GENERAL POPULATION TO KNOW THIS INFO


 

  

MARKET ANALYSIS

 

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POPULAR HOUSING ON SINT MAARTEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael G.L.B. Fowler

Sint Maarten Housing Development Foundation (SMHDF)

March 2008

 

Background information on SMHDF’s housing activities on Sint Maarten

 

The Sint Maarten Housing Development Foundation (SMHDF) was founded in 1996, as a non-profitable and non-governmental organization (NGO) with the main objective to operate towards the benefit and the improvement of public housing on the island of Sint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. As such, the SMHDF is assigned to execute the policy with respect to social housing that is laid down by the Island Government of Sint Maarten.

A Board of Directors consisting of 7 individuals of variable professional background is currently supervising the management of the SMHDF. The executive body for the day-to-day business activities of the SMHDF consists of a managing director, three division-heads and a staff of 10 individuals.

In the framework of its objectives, the SMHDF is currently responsible for the management of three housing projects that have been executed in Sint Maarten. These three projects are:

Project Belvedere, consisting of 474 houses of 13 different models and types.

Emergency Homes, consisting of in total 200 homes that have been constructed on 5 different locations of the island.

Senior Homes, consisting of 24 senior homes. In this project, there are 12 studios and 12 apartments with one bedroom that are all located in the Belvedere area.

 

a. Belvedere-project

The Belvedere-project has been prepared, financed and executed with the aid of the Ministry of Internal and Kingdom Affairs of the Netherlands. This project of a total value of NAf 51.1 million (U$ 28.4 million) consists of 474 houses that are categorized in 13 different models/types of houses. The Island Government of Sint Maarten sold the terrain for the Belvedere project (estimated to be a total of 58,703 square meters) in October 1997 for the symbolic price of NAf 1.00. However, the land has a value of NAf 1,634,424.00 (U$ 908,013) in the books of SMHDF, as result of the property transfer tax paid by the SMHDF.

Yet, as it is made clear in table 1, it should be acknowledged that the Belvedere project has not been prepared appropriately to aim at the social market situation of Sint Maarten. Fore, the project misses all proportions to aim at the most noteworthy market-segments of the population on Sint Maarten that are the target-groups for the SMHDF to aim at; viz. those parts of the population with low income.

Table 1

 

Ranges of Average Income levels

in U$/month

Number of people

Percentage of Total Workforce

in %

Allowable Ranges for Rent

in U$/month with 30% quote

0 – 556

4,009

22.5

0 – 167

556 – 1,111

6,278

35

167 – 333

1,111 – 1,667

2,994

17

333 – 500

1,667 – 2,778

2,314

13

500 – 833

2,778 +

1,485

8.5

833 +

unknown

654

2

Total:

17,734

100

 

Source: CBS – Population and Housing Census Netherlands Antilles 2004

In table 1, it is made clear that 57.5% of the working force in Sint Maarten would require rentals to a maximum of U$ 333 per month, when considering a rentals quote of 30% of the gross income. However, the erroneous approach of the Belvedere project is made clear with table 2 that illustrates that only 19% of the units have a rental price below U$ 333.

Table 2

Housing model or type:

Nr.

of houses

%

of total

Initially recommended rents in U$

Initially projected income/month (U$)

Actual rents

in U$

Income in U$ per month with 100% occupation.

PD2/A1

44

9

244.55

10,760.44

250.00

11,000.00

PD2/A2

46

10

304.87

14,024.02

305.55

14,055.30

PD2/A3

24

5

452.00

10,848.00

444.44

10,666.56

PD2/R2

21

4

409.83

8,606.43

458.33

9,624.93

PD2/R3

21

4

453.00

9,513.00

500.00

10,500.00

DMA/R2

65

14

475.76

30,924.40

430.55

27,985.75

DMA/R3

65

14

447.56

29,091.40

444.44

28,888.60

SXM/R2

16

3

472.26

7,556.16

430.55

6,888.80

SXM/R3

16

3

446.48

7,143.68

472.22

7,555.52

SXM/D2

40

9

622.23

24,889.20

550.00

22,000.00

SXM/D3

68

15

703.62

47,846.16

627.77

42,688.36

IXI/D2

38

8

651.41

24,753.58

550.00

20,900.00

IXI/D3

10

2

801.81

8,018.10

627.77

6,277.70

Total:

474

100

  233,977.04

  219,033.33

Source: “Prestatie-Overeenkomst Eilandgebied Sintmaarten en SMHDF” (1997), and Administration SMHDF

 

In Table 2, the initially suggested levels of rents per month for the different models of houses in Belvedere are compared to the actual rents that are currently being charged to the tenants. The differences in levels of rent are mainly caused by the market situation for houses in Sint Maarten, whereas it is revealed that the economically calculated levels of rent for the houses are not feasible for collection from the socially deprived of Sint Maarten. And, as consequence, the SMHDF is facing a structural loss of U$ 179,324.52 on an annual basis; even when there is a 100% occupation.

When comparing the market environment with the levels of rent for the houses in the Belvedere project, we will arrive at the following comparisons; as is laid down in table 3.

Table 3

Ranges of Average Income levels

in U$/month

Number of

people

Allowable Ranges for Rent

in U$/month with 30% quote

Percentage of Total Workforce

(%)

Number of houses

Percentage of Houses within Allowable Ranges

(%)

0 – 556

4,009

0 – 167

22.5

0

0

556 – 1,111

6,278

167 – 333

35

90

19

1,111 – 1,667

2,994

333 – 500

17

207

43

1,667 – 2,778

2,314

500 – 833

13

177

38

2,778 +

1,485

833 +

8.5

0

0

unknown

654

4

0

0

Total:

17,734

  100

474

100

Source: CBS – Population and Housing Census Netherlands Antilles 2004 and Administration SMHDF

 

 

From table 3 on previous page, it is evident that the Belvedere project, with houses that have to generate rents of U$ 250 to U$ 627.77 per month, has clearly been prepared to focus mainly at the market-segments with a monthly income ranging from U$ 1,111 to U$ 2,778 (81% of the houses in Belvedere involve rents of U$ 333 to U$ 833), which is actually the ‘middle class’ in Sint Maarten, and representing 32% of the total workforce.

And, even though the conditions of some of the houses in Belvedere are not up to par, the SMHDF is not encountering significant problems to have the units occupied by tenants, as the demand for social and middle class dwellings in Sint Maarten is notably high. As per March 2008, the SMHDF carries a waiting list of 860 households in Sint Maarten that are looking for a home that requires a rental price from U$ 250 to U$ 627.77.

 

b. Emergency Homes

The SMHDF also manages 200 ‘emergency homes’ (total value NAf 6.6 million or U$ 3,666,667) that have been put up with financial aid of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations of the Netherlands on 5 different locations of the island. These include:

Location:

Number of houses:

Union Farm

105

Foga

30

The Keys/Sucker Garden

33

South Reward

8

Cole Bay

24

Total:

200

 

The monthly rent that is being charged amounts U$ 215.00, which is well within the limits for the population of lower income. And, as a result, these units are very much wanted.

c. Senior Homes

As a final point, the SMHDF manages 24 senior homes, consisting of 12 studios and 12 one-bedroom apartments that are located in three separate but connected buildings in the Belvedere area.

The rent for a studio is U$ 153.33 per month, and the rent for a one-bedroom apartment U$ 208.88 per month.

The ‘elderly homes’ have been constructed in close collaboration with the ‘Sint Maarten Red Cross’. The financing of this project was done through the contribution of:

U$ 833,333.33 from the Red Cross of the Netherlands,

U$ 277,777.77 from Sede Antiya,

U$ 131,111.11 from SMHDF.

The company ‘Plan D2’ in close collaboration with SMHDF supervised the execution of this project.

 

MARKET ANALYSIS

 

1. Economical environment of Sint Maarten

 

Sint Maarten is an island located at the windward side of the Caribbean Sea that consists of a French and a Dutch side. The Dutch territory covers an area of approximately 34 square kilometers of mountainous terrain; thus, leaving limited zones of flat land for construction of large-scale housing projects.

The major economical activity in Sint Maarten is closely related to the tourist industry. Almost 85% of the working force is directly, or indirectly, involved with tourism. Concurrently, it is perceptible that the economical basis of the island is extremely vulnerable. In the period from 1981 up to 2002, the rate of unemployment rose from 8% to 13%.

On the census date of January 2001, there were 30,594 inhabitants living on Sint Maarten, of which 14,890 were males and 15,704 were females. On the other hand, it has been reported that there are over 40,000 inhabitants registered with the Census Office of the island territory. However, it is not clear, if indeed all 40,000 are really residing on the island, as it known for a fact that not all migrants and deaths are properly reported to the Census Office. Therefore, in this analysis, the figures of the census in January 2001 are being observed.

Table 4

  Relative age distribution in census years, as percentage of the population

       
Age group

1960

1972

1981

1992

2001

0 – 14

39%

37%

33%

26%

26%

15 – 64

51%

58%

62%

71%

71%

65+

10%

5%

5%

3%

3%

Average age

         
(in years)

28.6

25.3

26.2

28.2

30.7

Source: CBS – 4th Population and Housing Census Netherlands Antilles 2001

 

The considerable size of the age group 15-64 is a result of the in-migration that took place in the past decades. This has caused that Sint Maarten grew from an island of barely 3,000 inhabitants in 1960 to a population of more than the tenfold in 2001. But, unfortunately, the number of housing accommodations for the in-migrants (particularly, for those of low income) did not grow in equal proportions; thus, resulting in a shortage of houses for those fractions of the population with low income.

In 2001, the number of households was 11,727; while in 1992, this number was 12,162. This is a decrease of almost 4%. The average number of persons per household is 2.6.

The larger part (62%) of the households in Sint Maarten consists of one nuclear family. Only 3% of the households (which is 352 households) consist of two or more nuclear families.

In the remaining 35% of the households (4,104 to exact), there are no nuclear families. The latter group consists mainly of single persons (with or without child), or of households consisting of several persons, who live together in informal domestic relations, such as: students, brothers and/or sisters living together, etc.

The absolute labor-force in 2001 was 17,734 persons, which is a decrease of 8% compared to 1992. This decrease is partly explained by the absolute changes in the population structure. The proportion of the labor force in the total population is 58%. Table 5 illustrates the dynamics of the labor force, the participation rates and the unemployment rates in Sint Maarten in the past 40 years; thus confirming the vulnerability of the economy in Sint Maarten.

Table 5

Labor force, participation rate and unemployment rates in Sint Maarten

         
  1960

1972

1981

1992

2001

Employed

793

3,112

5,998

16,911

15,495

Unemployed

50

298

499

2,425

2,308

Labor force

843

3,410

6,497

19,336

17,734

Total population

2,728

7,807

13,156

32,221

30,594

Participation rate (%)

31%

44%

50%

60%

58%

Unemployment rate (%)

6%

9%

8%

13%

13%

Source: CBS – 4th Population and Housing Census Netherlands Antilles 2001

 

In the period from 1981 to 1992, the unemployment rate rose from 8% to 13%, and remained more or less the same in 2004. In addition, it is well known that the forecasts for improvements in the economy do not give reasons to great optimism. In spite of the fact that there is a positive growth of the economy of the island, it is not being perceived that there is a significant alleviation of the unemployment situation in Sint Maarten, as most of the labor force needed in the tourist industry is imported.

As result of this economical development on the island, the average earning capacities are relatively low, as is being illustrated on table 1. This table shows that 57.5% of the workforce on the island has an income of below U$ 1,111 per month, while 19.5% earn less than U$ 556 per month. And, in view of the economical development that is focused at the tourist industry, one has to draw the conclusion that there are no real indications towards a structural increase to be expected in the average income of the workforce.

Based on studies and market appraisals of the housing situation on Sint Maarten in the past, the following conclusions can be summed up:

In general terms, it is to be concluded that the mountainous terrains of Sint Maarten offer limited possibilities to the development of housing areas at larger scale.

Equally, the fact that most of the available land for construction is in private hands appears to be a hampering factor for the development of social housing on larger scale.

When considering the big number of unstructured housing concentrations (e.g. “shanty towns”) that are mainly sheltering the segments of the population of lower income in Sint Maarten, one should undeniably conclude that there is a big necessity to offer better conditions for living to the people with lower income.

The specific requirements to the types of dwelling accommodations differ very much and are, particularly, dependant on the compositions of the households, the income-levels, particular demands, etc. These elements are all varying in size and in proportions over the different periods of time. Concurrently, it is recommended to pursue a market situation, whereas the demand exceeds the supply in all of the different types of housing.

At present, there is a surplus in the offer of dwelling accommodations on the island of Sint Maarten. However, these offers are mostly related to the tourism on the island (or other forms of short stay), while the prices for these accommodations (furnished or unfurnished) are ranging from U$ 800 (NAf 1,440) for a studio to U$ 2,500 (NAf 4,500) per month for a two-bedroom unit. Concurrently, these accommodations are not satisfying the need of the population with low income.

As consequence of the entire above, there is a serious deficit of appropriate rental units for those segments of the population of lower- and middle income. Particularly, because these parts of the population do not have sufficient financial resources to own land, private houses, and/or to become eligible for mortgage to construct their own home.

2 Target client groups of the SMHDF

 

Whilst observing the aim and objectives of the SMHDF, in addition to the economical environment, in which the foundation has to operate, it should be indispensably corroborated that its strategy for the development of housing on Sint Maarten should be targeted at the client groups of low income.

In this respect, it should be reported that, in March 2008, there are 860 individuals registered with SMHDF for renting an adequate accommodation. The following table 6 illustrates that the distribution of income of the people registered with SMHDF does not deviate significantly from the distribution of income for the whole of Sint Maarten. Thus, confirming the necessity of accommodations with rents up to U$ 333 per month for 464 households, and accommodations with rents between U$333 and U$ 833 for 387 households.

Table 6

Ranges of Average Income levels

in U$/month

Allowable Ranges for Rent

in U$/month with 30% quote

Number of

people

at work

Percentage of Total Workforce

(%)

Number of applicants registered with SMHDF

Percentage of all applicants registered with SMHDF

0 – 556

0 – 167

4,009

22.5

133

15.5

556 – 1,111

167 – 333

6,278

35

331

38.5

1,111 – 1,667

333 – 500

2,994

17

232

27

1,667 – 2,778

500 – 833

2,314

13

155

18

2,778 +

833 +

1,485

8.5

9

1

unknown

654

4

Total:

  17,734

100

860

100

Source: CBS – 4th Population and Housing Census Netherlands Antilles 2001 and Administration SMHDF

 

With the 4th Population and Housing Census of 2001, the respondents were also asked on the quality of their housing. Of the 11,727 households, 86% (10,085 households) considered their housing adequate, while 12% (1,407 households) considered their housing inadequate, and 2% (235 households) considered their dwelling accommodations even very inadequate.

In comparison to the census in 1992, there is a significant improvement. Fore, in 1992, these percentages were respectively 69%, 20%, and 11%. However, these figures demonstrate the still existing necessity to improve on the housing accommodations of more than 1,600 households.

In the following table (table 7 on next page), it is shown that 62% of the respondents, who considered their housing inadequate, or very inadequate, are having an income below U$ 1,111. Thus, again confirming the need to improve on the housing for the population with low income.

Table 7

Ranges of Average Income levels

in U$/month

Quality of housing

   
  Adequate

%

Inadequate

%

Very inadequate

%

0 – 556

11

24

28

556 – 1,111

23

38

34

1,111 – 1,667

17

17

14

1,667 – 2,778

20

12

13

2,778 +

24

6

8

unknown

5

3

3

Total:

100%

100%

100%

Source: CBS – 4th Population and Housing Census Netherlands Antilles 2001

 

When looking at the characteristics of the 11,727 households in Sint Maarten, we can distinguish a number of features, as is being demonstrated in table 8 below.

Table 8

 

 

 

Some characteristics of households

1992

2001

Nr. of households

Household size (%)

     
1 person

29

30

3,518

2 persons

27

26

3,049

3 persons

19

19

2,228

4 persons

12

14

1,642

5 persons

7

7

821

6 or more persons

6

4

469

Total

100%

100%

11,727

Average household size (number of persons)

2.6

2.6

 
Nuclear families per household (%)

     
one nuclear family per household

62

62

7,271

two or more nuclear families

3

3

352

no nuclear family per household

35

35

4,104

Total

100%

100%

11,727

Some characteristics of households

1992

2001

Nr. of households

Head of the household (%)

     
Male

69

66

7,740

Female

31

34

3,987

Total

100%

100%

11,727

Source: CBS – 4th Population and Housing Census Netherlands Antilles 2001

 

From table 8, it is apparent that 56% of the households (6,567 households) consist of 1 or 2 persons. And, when we look closer at the makeup of the most prevailing types of households, we can distinguish the following compositions:

married with child(ren) 19% – 2,248

single man 17% – 1,997

single woman 13% – 1,467

single woman with child(ren) 11% – 1,290

married without children 8% – 929

living together with child(ren) 8% – 930

living together without child(ren) 7% – 832

Then again, when taking into account the earning capacities in relation to the composition of the households, as laid down in table 9 below, we can notice that 53% of the single person households are earning less than U$ 1,111, while 35%, 28%, 23%, 19%, and 17% of the households consisting of respectively 2,3,4,5, and 6 or more are having a monthly income below U$ 1,111.

Table 9

Ranges of Average Income levels

in U$/month

Amount households with respective number of persons per household

                     
  1

2

3

4

5

6+

           
  Nr.

%

Nr.

%

Nr.

%

Nr.

%

Nr.

%

Nr.

%

0 – 556

880

25

335

11

201

9

99

6

33

4

19

4

556 – 1,111

1,337

38

732

24

424

19

280

17

123

15

61

13

1,111 – 1,667

528

15

610

20

422

19

263

16

131

16

52

11

1,667 – 2,778

387

11

611

20

512

23

394

24

197

24

94

20

2,778 +

316

9

641

21

557

25

525

32

287

35

188

40

unknown

70

2

120

4

112

5

81

5

50

6

55

12

Total:

3,518

100

3,049

100

2,228

100

1,642

100

821

100

469

100

Source: CBS – 4th Population and Housing Census Netherlands Antilles 2001

 

The previously mentioned statistical data on the household compositions can be applied as guidance to the projection of the number of bedrooms that are being required, whenever a new housing project is being prepared for the households of lower income. However, in view of the continuous migration of the population, as well the ongoing transformations of the household compositions, it is at all times recommended to conduct the relevant market researches and market-analysis, in order to continue identifying the specific clients, as well as the trends in the relevant target groups.

When looking at the age distributions in the census years on Sint Maarten (table 10, below), it can be detected that the ageing of the population in the recent years is unmistakably at the expense of the (relative) size of the youngest age groups. This is, for that matter, mainly related to the fact that a number of young people leave the island after completing their secondary education to continue studying elsewhere.

Table 10

 

Age groups

1960

1972

1981

1992

2001

0 – 14

39.5%

37.3%

33.4%

25.7%

26.0%

15 – 64

50.7%

57.8%

62.0%

71.4%

71.0%

65+

9.8%

4.9%

4.6%

2.9%

3.0%

Average age (in years)

28.6

25.3

26.2

28.2

30.7

Source: CBS – 4th Population and Housing Census Netherlands Antilles 2001

 

From table 10, it appears that the average age of the population decreased in the period between 1960 and 1972, but increased again from 1981 on. This is related to the vast immigration of the past decades, as it manifests itself in the high percentage of those in the age group 15-64. In the course of time, there has been a clear ‘ageing’ of the population of Sint Maarten. And, there are no indications that the ‘ageing’ trends will divert for the next years to come.

As consequence of this tendency, there is a growing need for senior homes in Sint Maarten. And, this necessity of senior homes is being amplified with the common practice that the elderly people transfer the ownership of their homes to their children as young families, because of the scarcity of proper accommodations for young families of low income, while the elderly people display some degree of preference to move to cheaper housing accommodations that they can afford with their low pension.

On the whole, when addressing the target groups of low income, it is apparent that the presently applied rentals quote of 30% is much too high for the individual households of low income, as it appears that many households of low income are facing difficulties in satisfying their obligations; especially, when considering the relative higher costs of living in Sint Maarten. For the sake ofcomparison: In the Netherlands, a rentals quote of 14% is being applied for the people with a minimum income, while in Aruba a rentals quote of 17% is being applied for the households with a minimum income, and a rentals quote of 22% for the households with average income.

Concurrently, it has been proposed to the Island Government to introduce rentals quotes to levels that are more apt for the market situation of Sint Maarten. In this respect, it has been proposed to bring about a rentals quote of 10% for the households below the legal minimum income; of 15% for the households with a minimum income; and of 20% for the households with middle income.

Conversely, one should be aware that the adjustment of the rentals quote to the level mentioned would imply that the subsidies, which are awarded by the Government of the Island Territory of Sint Maarten in the frame work of the existing Performance Agreement (“Prestatie Overeenkomst”), should be equally modified.

In addition to the previously mentioned before, it should be corroborated that it is a common and worldwide phenomenon that there are limitations to what consumers are prepared to pay for the rent of a dwelling accommodation. Fore, as soon as the monthly rent exceeds a certain level that is up to a maximum acceptable standard, the individual tenant would give preference to the purchase of a house/apartment. In the case of Sint Maarten, it has been detected that once the monthly rent for a dwelling accommodation exceeds the level of U$ 850 – U$ 1,200 – this is variable and dependent of the combined income of the households per month-, there will be a preference to purchase a house/apartment, for which the individual is prepared a mortgage payment varying from U$ 1,000 to U$ 1,450 per month.

Therefore, the sections of the working force with an income between U$ 1,667 and U$ 2,778, which is 17% of the working force, are being considered the primary target clients of the ‘Self-Building Program of the SMHFF. However, developments in this program are being hampered by the limited availability of land at reasonable price levels that these individuals can afford.

3. Competition to the SMHDF

 

At a first sight, when considering the great number of vacant living accommodations on Sint Maarten, there may be an impression of a larger offer than demand for housing. However, the greater offer is mostly aimed at the market-segments with higher income (viz. tourists), who are mostly renting such a living accommodation for shorter periods of time. Concurrently, the prices that are normally being charged for these types of accommodations are far beyond the capacity of those individuals of lower and middle income.

 

Equally, it is noted that there are numerous private houses consisting of two levels as result of the constructions on the hillsides of Sint Maarten. In most of these cases, the owners are living on the bigger-sized top levels of these houses, while the lower parts of the houses, with separate entrances, are rented out to prospective tenants. And, as it is mostly the case, the house-owners are focusing at the market-segments of higher income levels; in order to generate more favorable rents, as well as to have tenants with higher living standards and behavior in their immediate surrounding.

In the market segments that have been selected as target groups of the Sint Maarten Housing Development Foundation, there are no companies and/or private entities operating. This is understandable, as the levels of possible rent in these segments lack the potentials for ample earning capacities, while the commercial and operational risks remain the same.

Nonetheless, it is noted that a limited number of private house and/or apartment building owners are renting out accommodations to the segments of the population with lower income. And, equally, it is noted that these offers are not meeting the market requirements in terms of quantity, as well as of quality. Fore, it is obvious that these accommodations are very limited in numbers, while they often lack the minimum requirements for running water, electricity supplies, and sewage facilities. And, as consequence, these offers are not satisfying the need for proper housing accommodations to that part of the population with lower income.

In conclusion, it can be safely corroborated that there are no significant competitors operating in the housing sector; particularly not in the market segments that the SMHDF is aiming at. And, consequently, the SMHDF is in the position to set the appropriate basis to the economical operations in housing, as well as the adequate minimum standards of living for the segments of the population with low income.

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

The statistical data provided in the market analysis are not the absolute figures that should be regarded as clear-cut quantities for the demand in social housing of Sint Maarten. These figures should simply be regarded as indications to identify the opportunities in the current market for the development of projects in social housing.

On the other hand, it is eminent that the quantities -straightforwardly drawn from the households that have taken the trouble to register themselves with the SMHDF- are to be regarded as an immediate need for a suitable rental home. These quantities are:

Ø

at least 464 units, in order to satisfy the demand of the households of lower income, and

 

Ø

at least 387 units, in order to satisfy the demand of the households of middle income

 

 

However, based on the present composition of the population and taking into account certain demographic development and growth in number of households, it is anticipated -with the Housing Strategy Document (“Woonvisie”) of 2003 by Dutch experts from the housing corporation ‘ De Key’- that there is a need of having 860 – 1.230 social units constructed by the years 2010-2013. In terms units for the middle income, the need is expected to be 450 – 680 units.

In terms of required number of bedrooms for the rental units, it is clear from the statistical data that the need for 1-, 2-, or 3-bedrooms is evidently present. In general terms, it is advised for every project under development to take into account a proportionally division of:

­ 20% 1-bedroom units,

­ 45% 2-bedroom units, and

­ 35% 3-bedroom units.

However, the biggest challenge in the development of new housing projects on Sint Maarten is to control the construction cost price. Especially, when considering the relatively high prices for construction land, it is essential to maintain the cost for construction within reasonable boundaries to such an extend that the quality of the unit meets a minimum standard of requirements, and, at the same time, do not induce rental prices that are beyond the scope of what the target groups can afford. This means that the rental prices, derived from the cost of land and construction, should not exceed the value of U$ 333 (NAf 600) per month for the household of lower income, and the value of U$ 833 (NAf 1,500) per month for the households of middle income.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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