Pakistan has the world’s 7th largest population and with real estate assets at a market value of 700 billion USD, the real estate sector forms a central part of Pakistan’s economy. The three major cities for real estate development in the country are Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore, although the real estate market is now also growing in smaller cities. Although real estate has been quelled in the past by high taxes, the most recent federal budget announced relief measures which make investing in the country seem increasingly attractive. Lamudi, the global property portal operating solely in emerging markets, has in-depth knowledge of market trends and can make your investment choices easier by outlining the hottest spots for investments in this vibrant growing market.
Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital city and a lively metropolis is becoming increasingly popular with investors. One of the best places to invest in Islamabad is Bahria Enclave. Bahria Enclave, unlike Bahria Town, another popular development in the city, has a very central location within Islamabad. It is located quite near to the city centre, opposite CDA Park Avenue. It provides easy access to the Islamabad Highway, the Kashmir Highway and Lehtrar Road. The average price of a property in Bahria Enclave is 13,021,335 PKR for a 1 Kanal plot (according to a report in the first quarter of 2016). Indeed, it is the most searched area of Islamabad for one-kanal plots. Further developments are under way in and around Bahria Enclave due to its popularity resulting from its ideal location within the city, especially for commuters. Although property prices are currently experiencing a small downward trend, prices are generally remaining stable and are likely to increase again in line with infrastructural development.
In Lahore, the Punjab’s capital, many developments are driven by the Defence Housing Authority, often referred to as DHA. Currently, DHA Phase 9 and Gulberg are considered wise choices for investment. Prices in DHA 9 seem to be experiencing an upward trend at the moment (with an average price of 7,591,708 PKR for a 1 Kanal plot). Since the upward trend seems quite consistent, it’s definitely worth considering investing sooner rather than later. The locations of DHA developments are all in safe parts of town and because of the extensive local amenities in these areas, including schools and hospitals, plots are very popular with young professionals looking to start a family. Furthermore, transport links are excellent. Buying to let is also a good option in Lahore because properties with good transport links are always in high demand with renters. Property in Gulberg, on the other hand, is an excellent investment opportunity not only because prices here are also increasing steadily, but also because of developmental projects which are currently in progress in this area. In a recent interview with Col. Ahmed Fazeel Khan, the Managing Director at Indigo Developers, he said that because Gulberg is the “commercial and business hub of the city” with lots of commercial activity, it’s a safe bet for investors.
The third city investors should explore is Karachi, an important port and a prosperous financial hub. Karachi is rife with investment opportunities and property buyers these days, according to Mrs. Mansoor, the owner of Basoda N Karwai Builders & Developers. Two of the most sought-after developments in this historic city include Khalid Bin Waleed Road, for property in the city, and DHA City, for property on the highway. In terms of which to choose, it of course depends on the purpose of the investment. Khalid Bin Waleed Road is ripe for investment if you are keen to be very central but DHA City is better if it is more beneficial for you to be near the highway. The price of plots in DHA City, for example, had a percentage increase of 14.3% between the last quarter and the current quarter (as of April 2016). In general, long term investment is a wiser move than short term investment in Karachi.
With gradual changes in terms of development and socio-political factors, Pakistan is becoming an increasingly realistic and hopeful choice for those looking to get a good return on their investments in emerging markets in the coming years. One factor that is helping this along is the fact that the government has taken measures to promote the development of real estate investment trusts (REITs) in the country. Furthermore, the government and industry professionals are working to remove all fraudulent activity in the property market. Developments are expanding all over the country and as increasing numbers of expatriate Pakistanis return to their home country, the demand for affordable property is in a phase of growth.