During the eighth sitting of the House of Assembly on Thursday, the government tabled for debate the Fractional Ownership Bill, which promises to open scores of opportunities for both Turks and Caicos Islanders and the country alike.
The Bill will offer local and international investors the opportunity to pool resources and become joint owners of a single property.
Often mistaken for the more familiar time share concept, which doesn’t offer the opportunity for purchase, persons entering a fractional ownership scheme would have full ownership of their fraction of the property. This affords a number of unrelated parties the ability to share in and mitigate the risk of ownership of a high-valued piece of real estate.
Once a property has been registered under the fractional ownership scheme, the Bill makes provisions for a property to be split into a maximum of twelve fractions of equal value and thus allowing potential owners to purchase as many fractions as they desire.
With the Turks and Caicos Islands being marketed over the years as a high-end luxury destination, and the resulting development of five-star and six-star luxury resorts and condominiums, very few locals have benefitted previously through the ownership of condominium developments within the Islands, as the price of luxury once excluded the common man from such ventures.
However, Belongers will now have a greater opportunity to participate in developments that have a fractional ownership scheme, thus empowering them as property owners with equity and increased net-worth. With the power to borrow against a fraction and to sell, if so desired, fractional owners will have more financing options available to them and the ability to have access to two or more homes and to share the cost of maintaining the property.
Premier Rufus Ewing commented, “The Fractional Ownership Bill was a vision of my government as a means of empowering our people, to drive development and to stimulate the economy. At a fraction of the cost, our people can become property owners and have increased equity that would allow them to have access to financing that, otherwise, they perhaps would not have had. This financing provides the ability to realize some of the dreams of Turks and Caicos Islanders who perhaps want to become the entrepreneurs that a growing economy needs for job creation and stability. Additionally, this Bill increases the likelihood that people would build condos, town homes or stand-alone vacation homes and this means work for our contractors, electricians, carpenters, masons, architects etc., thus re-energizing our construction industry and thereby sending a global message of a strengthening economy. I see this Fractional Ownership Bill as a win-win for our people and our country as this type of activity attracts investors to our shores while ensuring that Turks and Caicos Islanders are not left behind.”
Fractional ownership schemes, once reserved for luxury jetliners and boats, have over the years been extended to include high-end real estate and are currently operating in countries internationally, such as Europe, the United States and Canada, as well as in regional countries like Barbados, Antigua, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
The Bill, which is expected to pass during the next sitting of the House, also provides for the formation of fractional management companies, similar to that of property management, and persons can look forward to the prospects of employment in new job titles such as a fractional manager within these companies.