Real Estate

Real Estate Industry

The Real Estate Industry has been booming on Saipan since 2015. Included in this Industry are real estate brokers, surveyors, title insurance companies, appraisers, environmental consultants, banks and finance companies that provide mortgage guaranteed loans, and property developers.

The Real Estate Industry breaks down into the subcategories of commercial, residential, and industrial real estate. Recent commercial real estate transactions on Saipan have involved malls, office buildings, restaurants, and stores. Also, investors are looking for opportunities to open new hotels because of the improvement in the tourist business. Residential real estate transactions generally refer to individuals purchasing their own residences, but recently developers have been acquiring luxury homes and apartment buildings to then rent out to residential consumers. Developers have also been acquiring raw land to be developed as condominiums. Industrial real estate transactions have involved land to support other developments, such as short-term leases for construction project staging areas, and public land leases for quarries and a cement batching plant. Because of the recent cannabis act, raw land becomes popular. Investors are looking for opportunities to grow marijuana on the rich, fertilized land on Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

Real estate can be an excellent diversification tool for investors and this Industry includes those who acquire property, usually through LLCs, with the intention of later selling the property at a profit. Portfolios containing real estate tend to outperform those without real estate over the long term. Investing in real estate can also offer reduced risk because the real estate market is not directly connected to stock or bond markets.

In addition to invest in real estate directly, investors also have other choices. There are different kinds of indirect investment method in real estate in the market. For example, Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) allows individual investors to buy shares in commercial real estate portfolios that receive income from a variety of properties, including but not limited to apartment, health facilities, hotels, office buildings and warehouses. REIT can provide investors dividend-based income, competitive market performance, liquidity and portfolio diversification. Investors does not have to have a huge amount of money to invest into the real estate business.

For each kind of investment in real estate business, investors need to pay attention to the specific details of the rules and procedures they need to follow so that the transaction will go nice and smooth. For example, investors need to check with local registrar to make sure that the property they are going to purchase have good title. When they purchase the building, they need to do boundary survey to see if their building will encroach public land and road. Before the construction, investors need to get zoning permit and building permit for their new construction site. Most of the investors will ask specialized attorneys to assist the transactions.

Attorneys practicing in the Real Estate Industry must have a solid knowledge on real property law, and also the peculiarities of CNMI real property law, such as the restriction on the acquisition of long term interests in real property to persons not of Northern Marianas descent set forth in Article XII of the CNMI Constitution.

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Chalan Kiya, Saipan, CNMI

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