Lahore is a major real estate investment avenue with a ton of great options, but the city’s real estate investors usually resolutely focus on Defence Housing Authority (DHA) projects, and they are probably not wrong in doing so. The DHA has led Lahore’s real estate market in terms of investment safety – which is a make-or-break thing for overseas investors in particular – as well as ROI, which has been great throughout.
The latest hotbed for investment over the last year-and-a-half in DHA has been Phase IX, which the DHA has renamed Prism 9 following the announcement of balloting, which is to be held on May 15. For the last six months, this project was in that interesting stage where it offered excellent short- and medium-term returns because balloting was just around the corner. Once balloting has been done, however, it will become an excellent long-term prospect. Let’s discuss why.
LOCATION & SCOPE
The location of Phase IX is just plain superb. We here at Zameen.com have gotten our hands on an unofficial map of Phase IX which is circulating among real estate agents close to the DHA, and coupled with the limited location information the DHA has officially released, we can paint a fairly accurate picture. See the unofficial map below:
The southern boundary of Phase IX is going to be the Rohi Nala. The prominent empty spot to the top-right (north-east) of the map consists of DHA 9 Town (aka Shuhada Town) and Askari XI. The one to the top-left (north) comprises State Life Housing Society Phases I and II.
This makes for an exciting location, close to many of the DHA’s older and well-established phases and highly accessible from all sides. The most exciting thing about this unofficial map, however, is the route of Lahore Ring Road (LRR)’s southern loop, which seems to be cutting through the western edge of Phase IX. DHA’s official map of Phase IX also highlights this major road to the left of the map as LRR, and needless to say, this proximity is going to give great value to the Phase in coming years – especially since Ferozepur Road is also a stone’s throw away.
The unofficial map also contains some gaps in the middle, and our best guess is that these are pre-existing developments and villages that the DHA has not acquired as of yet. Anmol, Balher Village, Youhanabad No 2 and Ashiana Housing Scheme are clearly marked, which suggests that these areas will not be part of Phase IX.
The rest of the sector, as is clearly obvious from the map, is fairly extensive. DHA has announced its official size to be 40,000 kanals, which makes it the largest phase of DHA Lahore yet. Let’s take a look at the other good stuff the DHA has announced will be part of Phase IX.
AMENITIES & FACILITIES
The DHA’s official announcement of Phase IX contains a line that I think is not just marketing copy, but a very important indication: “Fast Track Development Work”. Every Phase IX investor and expert I have spoken to has highlighted this particular notion that Phase IX will take a long time to become habitable, but with this line the DHA seems to be indicating that this will not be the case. All we can do is hope that it isn’t, because unless the DHA makes an official announcement or commitment about the development timeframe, these are all just guesses.
What the DHA has committed to is 16 sectors, main civic zones, city malls, university and hospitals. Given the size of this phase, the presence of such amenities and facilities means DHA aims to make this a self-sufficient city within a city, which is an admirable goal indeed. Knowing DHA and its impeccable track record, this could be reality within years.
The developer has also announced a host of other amenities, such as parks, schools and mosques in all sectors, the phase’s very own golf course, water theme park, business park, drive-in cinema, and a saddle and polo club along with a multi-purpose event complex and convention centre. Phase IX will also feature a church for the Christian community.
Not only is Phase IX going to be packed full of amenities, it is also apparently going to be quite futuristic. With dual water supply – potable and utility – and rainwater harvesting, e-tolling and parking, solar-powered LED streetlights, street Wi-Fi, and quad-copter surveillance for 24/7 security, we’re looking at a residential project that could be the city’s most prime location in the years to come.
And to bring all of this round, the DHA has announced an underwater zoo, a food street, and historical entrances and monuments representing all provinces of Pakistan. That’s what I call a holistic real estate development, and nobody does those better than DHA.
We know there are going to be plots in Phase IX because 5-marla, 10-marla and 1-kanal files have been around for a while now. But the DHA has announced that there will also be fully serviced apartments in Phase IX, which of course ultimately broadens the end-user segment interested in the phase.
Given all of the information I’ve just shared with you, my opinion is that when the DHA says Phase IX is going to be the ‘jewel in the heart of Pakistan’, the DHA means it.