In order to grab insight into the current situation of real estate industry across Pakistan, the marketing manager of AmerAdnanAssociates® Mr. Faisal Qureshi scheduled an appointment with Mr. Saad Arshed – the Country Director of Lamudi.pk – a global property portal, focusing extensively on emerging markets in Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa. The company offers an easy-to-use and secure online platform to buy, sell or rent real estate online. Lamudi.pk, which has been active for over a year in Pakistan, has around 135,000+ active property listings and has opened offices in 8 cities, namely, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Gujranwala, Multan, Hyderabad, Faisalabad and Karachi. Below are the details of conversation held amongst two professionals:
Faisal Qureshi: Since a noteworthy boom in the real estate industry across Pakistan has been observed over the past few years, have the prices come down or have become stable for now? Besides, where do you see the prices of residential and commercial land across Pakistan in the coming year?
Saad Arshed: The prices have generally become stable over the third quarter of the year, 2014. In all major cities such as Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi prices have more or less remained stagnant, with just a few minor increases in some areas.
-Residential/commercial land. In days to come, we do foresee more commercial activity. This wave should lead to more demand for the commercial land and corresponding to areas around more residential activity.
Faisal Qureshi: Please give us your expert advice regarding the areas of Lahore with more potential for the real estate buyers and sellers. Please suggest the areas of Lahore that are ideal for residential property investment and for home construction.
Saad Arshed: If we talk about Lahore’s property market, DHA is the first name that pops up followed by Bahria Town. If you want to go for home construction, then do it in DHA, especially its recently developed phases 5 & 6. With regards to investment in plots, go for Phase 8 & 9.
Faisal Qureshi: We usually find 5 marlas, 10 marlas and 1 kanal plots being bought and sold in residential areas of Lahore; which of these three are more in demand as regards residential property?
Saad Arshed: According to reports generated by our website, customer inquiries are the most about 5 Marla plots and houses.
Faisal Qureshi: As we know that property in Karachi is too expensive for common people to purchase and consequently there is a trend of apartments for residential use; do you think the price hike in Lahore would do the same? Would the people of Lahore change their living style from homes to apartments in the coming years?
Saad Arshed: The fact that people prefer apartments has also to do with the metropolitan lifestyle of Karachi. In Lahore, the trend is slowly building up, but still people prefer houses over apartments.
Faisal Qureshi: There had been lack of knowledge among common people of Pakistan regarding the importance of hiring an architect and interior designer for home construction in the past. Do you think there is a growing awareness among people for it now?
Saad Arshed: With the increasing internet penetration and awareness, people are well aware of the fact that you need to hire an architect and interior designer. Moreover, newly constructed houses by renowned architects in Lahore, including posh localities such as DHA Phase 5 has also led to many people following suit.
Faisal Qureshi: Which areas in Lahore would you recommend for commercial property investment as well as construction that ensure sufficient ROI?
Saad Arshed: If you want to go for commercial property investment, go for DHA, in its commercial areas such as Y Block, Phase 5 market etc. These are sure shot to ensure a sufficient return on your investment.
Faisal Qureshi: How much has the recent political unrest in Pakistan affected the local real estate industry?
Saad Arshed: The twin sit-ins led to the slowing of the property market especially Islamabad, however the consequences have not been as drastic as expected. This could be attributed to the fact that real estate is the most promising investment sector of Pakistan.