People liquidating bank savings to invest in property; FPCCI body on housing and construction SVP Munir Sultan says rates to remain stable and hike after March; realtors say investors fearing financial meltdown in UAE coming back home. Local builders in Pakistan are having a field day as the newly introduced projects all over Pakistan have received tremendous positive response marking the first signs of real estate sector revival in the country.
Real estate agents and builders said that though prices continue to remain low owing to recession - the demand for properties is increasing as investors are coming back home after trying their luck in UAE.
Senior Vice President of FPCCI Sub committee on Housing and Construction, Munir Sultan predicted that the prices of properties would remain stable for the time being and would only hike after March.
Estate agents and experts informed that the buyers of these properties are investors having money stashed in local and foreign banks and following the global credit crunch feared for their savings.
Sultan explained: "These are ordinary well to-do people of our society who liquidated their bank savings and opted for safe heaven investment in real estate. Properties are sound investments as no one can steal them from you and more importantly because regardless of the political or economical conditions, land assets do eventually gain value with time."
He further said that Pakistan urgently needs to work on its investors’ confidence and the government should take steps to clear the country of its black economy that is working parallel to the legal system.
He advised the government to introduce a law similar to UAE’s Escrow account concept, which provides investor’s peace of mind over their investments and helps reduce fraud cases.
However, Sultan went on to inform that DHA Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi would not witness any changes both in terms of revival and price fluctuations as "the demands in these areas were artificially created particularly by stock exchange investors".
"These investors purchased plots in great numbers and artificially pushed up the prices and therefore they are not accounted for in the overall country’s real estate movements. DHA properties investment rules are also quite different from the rest of the country," he continued.
In Karachi, residential projects with ground floor commercial shops in scheme 33, near Super Highway are the most well received ones according to most estate agents in the localities of PECHS, Gulistan e Jauhar and Gulshan e Iqbal.
Abu Masood Khan of Khan Estate Agency and Ashok of Ashok Builders informed of similar results in Hyderabad. They said that there has been a hike in residential projects and shopping complexes in their city.
"The idea of commercial projects has especially gained momentum and there are increasing number of shopping plazas that have been introduced" Ashok said. Latifabad, Heerabad, Saddar and the area around Isra University have witnessed the maximum projects, Khan shared.
Similarly, Basit Mahmood, a project director of Globiz in Lahore informed that his city is also experiencing a revived interest in empty plots and constructed projects and real estate related advertisements have popped up across the city’s billboard, cable televisions and newspapers.
Meanwhile, an expert dealing with Gwadar expressed that the place continues to remain in doldrums and so far no changes have been witnessed there.
"Let us hope the investment fever that is spreading in the other parts of the country also reaches here to save us from disaster too" he added.[The News]