It is a well known fact that the real estate industry of most countries is a general indication of the direction of the economy. Just look at the effect of the crash of the US mortgage market and it's effect on their economy, and by extension, the global economy. Locally, it seems we're also definitely feeling the effects.
The Global Property Guide recently did a pretty fair analysis of the state of the Jamaican real estate market. In addition to the factors mentioned, we've in fact already seen that local mortgage rates have shown recent increases, making it more difficult for borrowers to access loans, and hence more difficult for developers and home owners to dispose of properties. The real estate industry has been targeted by the Government in it's attempts to stimulate the economy, with two recent reductions of transfer tax and stamp duties, the next of which is expected to take place in January of 2010 (Deborah Cumming thinks this delay is dangererous, although veteran realtor Andrew Issa thinks this will happen sooner). The Jamaica Mortgage Bank will soon issue a bond to help developers fund projects, and the Minster of Water and Housing Dr Horace Chang has urged the construction industry to use local materials to help keep costs down.
One thing is certain at this time: in light of the economic conditions, sellers certainly seem more willing to negotiate, and potential investors are urged to keep their eyes on the market as there definitely are good properties available at reasonable prices.