As per data maintained by Zameen.com, the sale prices of plots and houses in Lahore remained consistent during the first quarter of 2014 and only minute changes were observed in the sale price trajectories. Likewise, the property sectors of Islamabad and Karachi also exhibited identical trends. Even, the rental prices of properties across the primary cities of the country remained steady to a certain extent.
Consistent prices in Lahore
As compared to property demand in Q1, 2013, the market activity dropped significantly in Q1, 2014. Therefore, the real estate market of Lahore did not witness major spikes during the first quarter of 2014. It was noticed that the prices of 1 kanal (500 sq. yards.) residential plots in Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and Bahria Town Lahore dropped by 3.35% and 3.93% respectively, during the first quarter of current year. Whereas, the sale prices of houses of the same size in DHA and Bahria Town spiked by 4.08% and 3.82% respectively.
The rental market of the city, on the other hand, revealed interesting developments. Lahore Cantt, which is deemed as an expensive area to rent 1-kanal house, failed in outdoing DHA in terms of rental prices.
As per Zameen.com’s statistics, the average rental price of 1-kanal houses in DHA remained 5.85% greater, in comparison to the rental prices of similar properties in Cantt. However, Bahria Town proved to be the most economical option, as the average rent in the locality remained lesser than DHA and Cantt during the first quarter.
The property market of Islamabad failed to register impressive hikes in Q1, 2014 and the market activity also remained insignificant during the said quarter. Even, price falls were witnessed in some of the key localities of the capital city.
In E-11 and Bahria Town, the prices of 1-kanal residential plots dropped by 0.61% and 4.85% respectively. Whereas, it was observed that the prices of the plots of same size in F-11 exhibited an uptick of 14.10%. This gives an impression that in some pockets of the capital, the property market logged uppish trends during the first quarter.Home prices, on the other hand, showed better trajectories, as the average sale price of 1 kanal houses in F-11, G-11 and E-11 registered prices hikes of 15.36%, 10.44% and 5.56% respectively.
In terms of rental prices, E-11, among the popular residential communities of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), proved economical and registered a rental yield of 3.46% and an average rental price of Rs. 167,475 in Q1, 2014. Average rental value of the residential units of same size in F-11 hovered around Rs. 185,000; however, a gradual drop in the rental yield was witnessed in the locality, as per Zameen’s stats. G-11, on the other hand, staged a better rental price situation, as minute increases in the rental value and a steady rental yield of 3.61% were registered in the locality in the first three months of 2014.
The realty market of Karachi witnessed amplification in activity towards the end of 2013, as new projects were launched in the city. Overall, the real estate market of Karachi remained on the up, with only slight falls observed here and there, during Q1, 2014.
A price rise of 6.40% for 1 kanal residential plots was observed in DHA Karachi during the first quarter. Whereas, steady trajectories were observed for the sale price of the plots of same size in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. Gulshan-e-jauhar, on the other hand, exhibited opposite figures, as 1 kanal plots in the locality lost around 9.09% of their value in Q1, 2014.
In similitude to plots, the average value of 1 kanal houses in Gulshan-e-Jauhar recorded a dip of 1.22% during the same quarter. Whereas, in DHA Karachi, these prices dropped by 3.11%. In this segment, Gulshan-e-Iqbal showed opposite trends, as the prices of houses of 500 sq. yards. spiked by 3.27% in Q1, 2014.
First quarter, however, witnessed increased footfall of investors in Bahria Town Karachi but it is difficult to comment on the fluctuations and rates of property files in Bahria, since they change every day. However, we can contemplate that Bahria Town will be another successful project in the realty market of Karachi.
Property market expected to remain stable in Q2, 2014
Mr. Zeeshan Ali Khan, Co-Founder Zameen.com, is of the view that the real estate market of the country is likely to remain stable in the second of the year as well, except for a few selective localities, where prices may increase slightly. “We expect better market activity towards the end of the Calendar Year (CY) 2014, but the second quarter of the year is likely to remain quieter in terms of market activity”, said Khan.
Pakistan real estate gets a huge chunk of investment in the form of foreign remittances from overseas Pakistanis. These expatriates may play an important in fuelling market activity in the second half of the year.