Ever since the announcement of Islamabad International Airport in 2005, interest began to simmer in the area around it. It was expected that infrastructure – particularly transport – will be developed, populations would shift, new settlements formed. All of this happened in a timespan of a few years. Real estate loves infrastructure and follows it, and this was going to be one of the biggest infrastructural developments in the city, so those with foresight began planning for the benefits it would bring.
Once the plan for the airport began materialising and huge developments took place – extension and renovation of roads, setup of Metrobus network, development in the airport construction itself – it became apparent which of the societies and housing schemes are going to benefit the most from it: TopCity-1, Mumtaz City, Gandhara City, University Town, and PECHS, among others. These housing schemes became lucrative avenues for investment, and in many cases, their prices were directly influenced by the pace of development around the Islamabad International Airport.
Now that the development of the airport is complete, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority is finalising the preparations for inauguration and it can be expected around 20th April – the final date will be announced after 10th April. The entire real estate sector of Islamabad is ready for the moment it has been waiting for. If you are one of those people, here’s the latest update from some of those housing schemes:
TopCity-1 was one of the leading housing schemes that brought the entire area into focus for real estate stakeholders, according to Ali Hamza of Blue Chip Realtors & Builders. Even Mumtaz City and Gandhara City – housing schemes in its immediate vicinity – were pushed to prominence primarily thanks to TopCity-1. However, the housing scheme faced some issues, and while Mumtaz City’s prices surged, its prices were slightly inhibited in their growth until the issues were resolved.
However, Hamza explained that this makes TopCity-1 one of the best opportunities for investment in the vicinity of Islamabad International Airport. It has been announced that possession will become available in the housing scheme next month and it is expected that soon afterwards construction will begin. This will coincide with the inauguration of airport. The prices, according to Hamza, are already rising significantly and are set to increase by as much as 25% in the coming month. So, an investment there can certainly be considered.
Mumtaz City has been going to head-to-head with TopCity-1 in terms of popularity. In fact, its prices are relatively higher because of the factors explained above and the fact that a relatively larger option of plot sizes are available in the housing scheme, which brought a greater variety of buyers to the housing scheme. Since TopCity-1’s smallest plots were 10-marla plots, it was more popular with genuine buyers. Mumtaz City can also be preferred over TopCity-1 because of its greater degree of development, which is complete, according to Hamza.
Gandhara City, while relatively behind in terms of popularity than TopCity-1 and Mumtaz City, shares the same link road as the two and the prices there are significantly lower, according to Fahim Iqbal of Iqbal Associates. Iqbal explained that lower-budget investors who can’t invest in either of those cities have been considering Gandhara City as a potential investment.
Pakistan Employees Cooperative Housing Society (PECHS), according to Mian Brothers Real Estate & Builders CEO Mian Yasin, is the housing scheme that is closest to the Islamabad International Airport. He explained that the situation for Islamabad International Airport should be compared to Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport and its inauguration. The prices had skyrocketed in the area surrounding it after the airport had been inaugurated, increasing prices several times over the years. A similar situation can be expected in PECHS.
PECHS, he added, is the only society nearby where all the basic utilities: water, electricity and gas is available, and so is possession. As soon as the airport is inaugurated and people begin moving towards this area – particularly the people who will work there and may prefer to live near it – they will look towards PECHS because of all this and that’s where they will construct their homes. In other societies, they may buy plots but since possession or utilities are not available, they may be delayed in constructing homes. This is what gives it immense potential in both short-term and long-term.
Islamabad International Airport is going to cater to more than 15 million passengers each year. This will bring further attention to the area, according to Yasin, and in the future, all of these housing scheme are going to see significant price increases in the long-term.
In the short term, the best time to invest in Zone II is right now, since the prices will increase in the month until the inauguration, according to Hamza, but then the market will settle in the next few months. Once we are past that, however, the prices can surge again to unimaginable heights, to use Iqbal’s words.
Are you looking to invest near Islamabad International Airport? Which housing scheme will you prefer? You can talk to us in the comments section. You can also head to Zameen Forum for a detailed conversation.