By Shahram Haq
Pakistan’s real estate market saw a fluctuating trend in February with some areas showing growth.
According to statistics released by Zameen.com, a property portal, investor sentiments turned towards Gwadar, which is in the limelight due to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative. Another preference for realty investors remained Gujranwala, as a lot of development is underway in the city and majority of the emerging societies do not come under the tax-net due to lower prices.
Zameen.com CEO Zeeshan Ali Khan said Gwadar is an up and coming market and it has a lot of potential to offer some high returns.“I don’t find it surprising that investors are diverting their attention from Karachi to Gwadar, especially given the highly affordable prices in Gwadar projects at the moment,” Khan said.
The realty sector in Lahore had nothing new to offer as the general trend remained the same as in the previous month. However, after the implementation of the new tax regime in 2016, investment activity has improved this year, with growth maintaining a steady pace.
DHA Housing Authority (DHA) Lahore Phases I-VI showed stability with a small price increase of 0.53% and 0.70% for 1-kanal and 10 marla plots, respectively, while Phases VII-IX depicted the same trend with a 0.44% and 0.46% increase in prices in 1-kanal and 10-marla plots.
Diverging from the pack, Phase VI did witness mentionable investment activity Bahria Town did not show any growth but Bahria Orchard made up for it by displaying moderate growth due to its recently launched Phase IV.
The federal capital is still recovering from the damage caused by last year’s tax regime and its pace of improvement is slower than other cities. Sector F-11’s prices decreased by 0.25% and 0.60% for 1-kanal and 10 marla plots, respectively, while small price increases were witnessed in January.
In contrast to the trend last month, when prices declined, DHA Islamabad rates were up by 0.94% and 0.72% for 1-kanal and 10 marla plots, respectively. The society also benefited from an increase in commercial activity, although the improvement caused is marginal.
Prices in Bahria Town increased moderately because Blocks M and L performed well. Block L was popular as investors could purchase their desired plot on demand while rumours of possession being granted in Block M caused prices to spike.
Investment in Karachi was not as rampant as before as Gwadar stole the limelight. The city by the sea was the least affected after the post-tax scenario and showed immense potential in January, yet failed to replicate this trend the next month.
DHA Karachi’s prices decreased a bit but still showed stability while Gulshan-e-Iqbal also displayed borderline growth and mostly stability.
Bahria Town Karachi (BTK) successfully impressed in January and topped the charts in February as well. A 3.98% rise in prices was seen for 500 square yard plots while 250 square yard plots rose by a huge 6.57% in February due to the announcement of possession dates in some areas of the society.
Gujranwala has shown the most variation in performance amongst the other cities. While property prices remained stable throughout the month, the end of the month witnessed outstanding growth adding up to a 6.86% and 8.29% increase in the rates of 1-kanal and 10 marla plot files, respectively.