CHIEF executive officer of Paga Hill Development Company, Gudmundur (Gummi) Fridriksson, has said one of the beneficial outcomes of the resources boom that Papua New Guinea enjoyed until recently was an easing of the housing supply shortage.
But, Mr Fridriksson told Oxford Business Group, supply is still constrained and affordability remains an issue.
“Furthermore, the rush to develop has meant little innovative thinking has gone into what has essentially been the replacement of old stock with new.
“For developers, this means there is plenty of opportunity ahead.”
Mr Fridriksson said PNG has matured as a market, with a growing middle class and more discerning customers who demand more in the way of lifestyle.
“The dominant paradigm for so long has been compound living, which has meant locking residents in behind high fences and security guards.
“Looking at Port Moresby, the city is transforming. The port is being redeveloped and the waterfront is being embraced with free access from the central business district all the way around Paga Hill to Ela Beach.”
He said this will establish a pattern for future residential, commercial and open space development.
“The next phase of development activity will be focused on urban renewal led by public and private efforts to develop new and vibrant focal points. This means creating quality stock with good amenities.
“People should be thinking about the next 20 years instead of taking short-term speculative action.
“One aspect of Paga Hill Estate that illustrates this is our aim to be the first to operate under strata title legislation. This is now a foundation expectation for investors and is critical to ensure security of title over individual apartments as well as effective administration and property management.”
Mr Fridriksson said PNG is attracting the attention of serious investors backed by large corporations with the financial muscle to support quality property development.
“Foreign investment must go hand in hand with creating a lifestyle that will result in people bringing their families to live in PNG and having their children study in local schools instead of keeping them abroad,” he said. “We have a growing middle class with serious buying power.
“I am very positive about what is being achieved in Port Moresby: road infrastructure upgrades and general city beautification initiatives, the development of Paga Hill Estate and the overall redevelopment of the waterfront.
“Other cities are similarly investing heavily in new road networks and infrastructure, which are opening up new areas for investors and developers.
“For the first time, there is an atmosphere of real collaboration between stakeholders to achieve win-win outcomes for shareholders, towns and cities.”