Real Estate Investment first choice for Overseas Pakistanis

Real estate is calculated a vibrant and lucrative sector for many prosperous as well as middle and lower-income groups.Over the years, it has experienced capital inflows from a diversity of investors, both local and overseas, which has resulted in a mushroom growth of real estate agencies and agents due to the low skills required for brokering and sales. Overseas Pakistanis are one of the key asset & investors for Pakistan’s economy and the main source of foreign direct investment in Pakistan. Real estate is obviously the first choice for investment in Pakistan by overseas Pakistanis. Remittances from expats not only play a major role in overall country economy but also improve buying power of many families back here in Pakistan. Once a Pakistani,always a Pakistani. Most of us cannot remain disconnected from homeland,especially when it comes to politics and real estate investment.

Let me highlight the potential of South Zone of Rawalpindi/Islamabad; the G-T Road Rawalpindi which is South of twin-cities, at its westerly direction lays a vast tract of land which is located in between M2 Motorway and GT road which starts from Rawat and ends at Tarnol/ Wah. Posh gated communities like DHA, Bahria Town are the first choice to reside here as these societies provide the international standard services and amenities to their residents here. There is a great potential for high rise buildings and commercial one stop branded outlets shopping malls. This area is highly significant in socio-economic context due to the abundant road network and its close proximity to supporting infrastructure for CPEC. Its location and linkage with CPEC (the Road to Future of Asia) has tremendous potential for growth. This Zone is becoming the hub of economic activities and can become the Centre of Gravity of major national and international economic activities in near future only if we regularize property and create an environment of investment here. In fact, it has already exerted a population and economic pull which now is the center of attraction for developers and international investors. Regularizing and developing proper rules and by laws for high quality commercial real estate projects on this belt will not only generate economic activity but also create job opportunities in an efficient way. There is a dire need that credible local real estate developers are encouraged and facilitated in high standard real estate development which attracts international investments. Real Estate developments on G-T road are highly beneficial for overseas Pakistanis, which are serving as a real asset for the country by sending their valuable remittances. Earthlink Real Estate is the most credible developer of Pakistan and overseas investors have earned highest returns on their investment at our renowned projects The Grande, which have become the fastest selling luxury real estate brand in Pakistan. An upcoming project on G-T road Rawalpindi of superior standard is going to be the most lucrative and secure investment for our valuable international clients.

Future of DHA Islamabad; The Eminent Living in Twin Cities

  1. Islamabad being one of the strategically planned cities with breath taking sites enjoys the status of second best city in the world. If you view the mega picture of twin cities of Rawalpindi- Islamabad (Please refer to Map-1) you will notice that:
  2. Let’s start with the Margalla Mountain Range, Margalla is a hill range that’s part of the lesser Himalayas located north of Islamabad, Pakistan. The Margalla Hills are situated at North and northeast side of Islamabad, high features of Murree and Abbottabad overlooking Islamabad are almostsaturated with multiple housing projectsto an extent that some projects are now extending to adjacent District Haripur in KP.
  3. Now coming towards the South of twin-cities, at its south western and westerly direction lays a vast tract of land which is located in between M2 Motorway and GT road which starts from Rawat and ends at Tarnol/ Wah. This area is highly significant in socio-economic context due to the abundant road network and its close proximity to supporting infrastructure for CPEC. Its location and linkage with CPEC (the Road to Future of Asia) has tremendous potential for growth. Let’s call it SZ (Southern Zone)
  4. The South Zone will be the hub of economic activities in near future. A thorough analysis on SZ reveals that this zone will result in attracting investments with handsome returns because of the following major developments;
  5. The approval of RBP (Rawalpindi bypass) commencing from Rawat, which connects the strategically planned DHAI Phase 3 and Phase 4, Bahria Phase 8.
  6. The RBP links the DHAI and Bahria with the New Islamabad Airport which will be the center of international trade plus M2 Motorway.
  • Furthermore, SZ has the potential of expansion across the motorway which can further accommodate mega projects.
  1. In addition to this a well planned construction of Rawalpindi Industrial Zone stretched over 125000 kanals of land along Rawat Chak Beli Khan Road is highly substantial as it links the motorway.
  2. After analyzing the above developments in twin-cities it can be safely concluded that the SZ will be theCentre of Gravity of major national and international economic activitiesin near future.In fact, it has already exerted a population and economic pull which now is the center of attraction for developers and international investors.
  3. Very interestingly, over 100 large size housing projects have already been initiated in the SZ. Most of them are already approved by various Government agencies; however, many are still in the process of approval. The most high quality housing projects include DHAI, Bahria Phase 8, CDA Sectors, Mumtaz City and Top City etc. However, two competitive rivals DHAI and Bahria are still at the top as both are providing the luxurious living standard and good services to their clients/residents. Within these two rival partners, DHAI is considered most credible developer in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

 

  1. Since its inception however, DHA Islamabad has been facing various allegations like delay in development of various phases such as DHAI Valley and DHA 2 extension etc. Having taken enough bashing by its clients, DHAI has now realigned its path to address these issues once for all. The organization has chalked out a comprehensive strategy to speed up all those projects which were running in delays. Presently, a prompt work is going on in DHA Phase 3, Phase 4, Phase 5 (Ex Commoner’s Town) and DHA 2 extension/DHAI Phase 6. In addition, a number of other up gradation projects are being implemented in already developed sectors in Phase I and 2.
  2. Due to ongoing rapid development activities I believe a new Serene Islamabad 2 is coming up in the shape of DHAI and Bahria Phase 8 combined……..(Please refer to Map-2)
  3. DHAI Phase 1

(1) A quick work is seen on Phase 1 bypass linking DHA Phase 4 directly with GT Road. This main entry will connect Askari 14 and Adiala road as well as Bahria Phase 8 which is already linked with DHA Phase 3. All these areas will be further connected with upcoming Rawalpindi bypass and onwards to M2 and Islamabad airport. Bahria has already started purchasing additional land to expand Phase 8.

(2)  Much needed commercial units are coming up in Sector A and soon a number of commercials are being launched at the entrance of Phase 1 adjacent to Sector B 1. One sector commercial is already completed in Sector E.

(3) Missing aesthetics are being addressed at priority and an impressive Green DHA is seen with additional parks, plantation and parking.

(4) Defence Villas Phase 2 are being launched during this year.

(5) This Phase has exhausted investment opportunities in residential plots but in case of commercial it still has plenty of potential.

  1. DHAI Phase 2

(1) Askari 15 has been launched in DHA 2.

(2) World Trade Center is almost completed attracting a sizeable commercial activity.

(3) A number of attractive recreational projects have been completed in state of the art Jacranda Family Club which has added to the family life of residents.

(4) DHAI has also initiated its own education system starting from DHAI 2 and is being extended to other sectors.

(5) Aesthetics are being improved at par with Phase 1. A massive plantation drive is currently ongoing in all sectors.

(6) The world class McDonald is already inaugurated.

(7) The most impressive part of Phase 2 is up gradation of GT road to 8 lanes and a beautifully designed fly over connecting Phase 2 with Phase 5 over signal free Islamabad Express Way is in in final stages.

(8) In next two years this phase still holds 10 to 20 % space in profit in residential units but about 20 to 25% in commercial units.

 

  1. DHAI Phase 3

(1) A rather delayed project of Phase 3 has now picked up great momentum. This phase is going to be flag ship project of DHAI in terms of its size, its location and its connection with RBP (Rawalpindi bypass). Its main entry is opposite World Trade Centre on GT road and it is being extended to RBP.

(2) Zone 5 to 9 of Bahria Garden City has already become part of this phase. Renaming Garden City is renamed as Bahria Oriental Garden.

(3) A rapid earth work is ongoing which indicates a desire of DHAI to complete initial sectors in about 18 to 24 months.

(4) Phase 3 has bigger space in terms of return up to 50 to 55% in next 3 to 4 years.

  1. DHAI Phase 4

(1) Located on the bank of River Soan on high features opposite Bahria Intellectual Village with great scenic view has made this Phase attractive for those who desire to construct their homes in relative quiet, higher and beautiful location.

(2) It was previously known as DHAI Phase 1 Extension but now renamed as DHAI Phase 4.

(2) Askari 14 and Garden Villas Housing Society located on Adiala Road have already been merged in Phase 4. This connection has provided an entry/exit to this phase to Motorway through Adiala Road.

(3) It will be linked with Bahria Phase 8 and onwards to DHAI Phase 3.

(4) Although this Phase is developed up to 50% so far but due to its scenic location it still hold space for return up to 30 to 40 % in next 2 to 3 years.

  1. DHAI Phase 5

(1) Previously A to J sectors of Phase 2 was covering an area between GT Road and remaining sectors were in North of Islamabad Expressway. Now Phase 2 is limited to sectors A to J only and sectors K to Q have been renamed as DHAI Phase 5.

(2) A flyover over signal free eight lanes Islamabad Expressway has made it attractive for those whose activities are biased towards Islamabad.

(3) Except some portion of Sector G (previously Sector P) possession of plots is being given.

(4) It is being further linked with DHAI 2 Extension/ Phase 6.

(5) A beautifully designed Central Commercial on the lines of Blue Area Islamabad is likely to be launched during this year.

(6) Almost all sectors of this phase are matured except G and Riverview. In both these sectors probability of return is 20 to 30 % in next two years

  1. DHAI Phase 2 Extension (Likely to be renamed as Phase 6)

(1) After considerable delay good pace of development work on initial four sectors (A to D) has started.

(2) It is to be linked through Phase 5 with Islamabad Expressway and Road KahutaIslamabad as well as with DHAI Valley with a bridge with Bluebell.

(3) Future residents of this phase and DHAI valley will be lucky to reside in the surroundings of Dadocha Dam. Space required for construction of Dam has been identified and feasibility report is under preparation by Govt of Punjab.

(4) This Phase has a cushion of almost 50 % of return but during next 4 to 5 years.Those who are frustrated and holding on their plots must continue to hold.

  1. DHAI Valley

(1) Of all the projects of Valley has been most controversial project of DHAI. It almost became a stigma for DHAI.

(2) Land acquisition issues, delay in feasibility report by Government of Punjab for Dadocha Dam, its linking with DHAI Expressway, issues between DHAI and Bahria are main reasons for delay of this project.

(3) Almost 650 DHA Homes are ready and being handed over shortly.

(4) Work on many sectors is going on but pace is not impressive.

(5) Due to distant location of valley the expected rise in return is 15 to 30 % in next two to three years. However, holders of plots must not throw away their properties in frustration as having sold these low cost properties they don’t have any other option in any other place with this size of amount.

  1. Pivotal Location of Bahria Phase 7, Phase 8 and Garden City

(1) By any standard Bahria Phase 7, Phase 8 and Garden City are part of upcoming DHAI City. All these sectors of Bahria are almost developed over 90%.

(2) This phase of Bahria though is temporarily slow in investments but due to its pivotal location in between DHAI Phase 1, Phase 4 and Phase 3 it will rise at par with other sectors of DHAI.

(3) A sizeable portion of additional land is also being acquired by Bahria on either side of RBP to maintain and keep its importance,

(4) Bahria is now ideal place for construction of homes/ residential/ commercial units as its prices are at the lowest. However, Bahria is expected to gain soon at par with DHAI.

  1. The Final Word is that DHAI combined with Bahria phases 7 and 8 with their rapid development of projects has challenged the quality of living in expensive sectors and prices in Islamabad. In times to come, DHAI combined with Bahria should occupy an important place with their high quality infrastructure as well as secure gated community in Islamabad. Nonetheless the investors must not expect overnight return in properties as rise in return will accelerate with other upcoming projects by CPEC ………

As growth will take place with increase in need of housing.

 

DHA Map 1

 

DHA Map 2

DHA Map 3

2017 Real Estate Trends in Bahria Town

  1. Bahria Town Rawalpindi Phase 1 to 6
    Rates of property got stagnant in 2016 however, in 2017 plots and houses prices jumped to superior level. Shifting to Bahria Town Rawalpindi was the best solution for large number of families during the extreme hot weather and worse load shedding during this year’s summer. Because of this phenomenon Bahria Town in Rawalpindi experienced rise in rental prices of residential units including houses and apartments in different phases. The Phase 1 to 6 Bahria Town got densely populated by 300 plus families 60 % of them living on rent in houses and apartments generating the increased demand of units. New luxury apartments and commercial projects were also initiated in this region hence welcoming the investments from local and overseas Pakistanis. Moreover, Bahria Town Phase 1 to 6 experienced 65% of construction of new houses. Very limited residential plots which are around 20% are left in this part of the city leading to 10 to 15 lacks of price lift.
  2. Bahria Phase 7 & 8 Becoming Home to Brands
    Now coming towards the Phases 7 & 8 of Bahria town Rawalpindi right on the scenic view of Sawan River where many new developments took place in 2017. Bahria Town authority gave possession of residential plots in various sectors of Phase-8, completion of road networks and provision of electricity was achieved, more than 50 % of new houses construction work was initiated coupled with the start of few commercial projects as well. Bahria Town Phase 8 witnessed more than 80% of construction of commercial and residential buildings. Large number of roads and infrastructural development plus provision of facilities was completed by Bahria Town Authority in various sectors of Phase-7 & 8. Bahria Town Phase-7 have become a hub of best international and national brands, Pappasallis, Pizza Hut, Johny Rockets Burger, Roasters, Texas Steak House, KFC, Diva, Kallisto and lots of other food outlets are opened in Phase-7. Plot prices in many sectors of Phase-7 & 8 have risen to almost giving profit of more 6 to 15 lacks plus to many investors of this part of city. From 2014 to 2016 the 5 Marla residential Plot price in Phase-8 was dormant to maximum of 15 lacks whereas in 2017 it is being sold at the rate of 20lacks plus.
  3. Bahria Enclave Islamabad
    Bahria Enclave Islamabad has launched mega apartments and commercial projects in different locations which have brought a new trend in the luxury market of real estate in the history of Islamabad. Provision of possession of large number of plots coupled by the new cutting and development of plots in Bahria Enclave escalated the rates of property there. A large number of energy efficient houses and villa projects are completed and are in the phase of completion. The 5 Marla residential plot in Sector B-2 of Bahria Enclave was having the worth of 36 lacks in last two years and this year the price has jumped to 45 to 50 lacks depending on location and category.
  4. Bahria Town Karachi
    Because of the wonderful and innovative real estate landmarks and international standard amenities, Bahria Town Karachi remained the most popular society on the online searches in 2017. 125 sq yard plots were traded like hottest properties because Bahria Karachi probably won’t come up again with this plot cutting. Despite a huge demand of these plots which are available in 16 precincts, prices are still affordable. 250 sq yard plots come next on recommendation list which are located in 8 different precincts. Development of these plots is almost near completion (90%), so it is going to be a preferred choice of buyers in 2018. Bahria Sports City, the biggest project of Bahria Town Karachi, is witnessing massive trade of its plots. This trend will keep on for upcoming months as plot prices here are still in range. Bahria Golf City is another project of Bahria Town Karachi where buying time remained at its peak. Midway Commercial remained on top for the sale and purchase of commercial plots. Many new plot cuttings and planning of commercial projects were initiated in 2017 which are the best options to invest at Bahria Town Karachi.

Progressive Real Estate Developments in 2017

2017 has ended with many new developments, progress and shifting trends in real estate industry of Pakistan. The real estate sector in Pakistan is a significant sector of the economy. Pakistan spends about $5.2 billion on construction annually and construction output accounts for 2 percent of GDP. Despite the real estate market in Pakistan enjoying an optimistic trend for the last four years, the market cooled down in 2016 because of the new tax laws. Capital gains taxes, stamp duty, registration fees, and advance taxes were all revised upwards. In reaction to this incident consumers responded to major tax upheavals by buying smaller, more practical properties with energy efficient features to cut down on running costs .However, in 2017, investment in residential property increased by five to seven percent significantly in posh areas of major cities including luxury properties and gated communities. Many new trends and following progressive changes witness that Real Estate market in 2017 set to enter in sustainable growth phase in Pakistan.

Digitalization of Real Estate in 2017
2017 witnessed the largest dependency on digital tools and social medium for marketing, property search, selling and purchasing of property in Pakistan. The most popular online mediums used for selling and purchasing of properties in Pakistan this year included Zameen.com, OLX, booking.com, Trovit, meraghar.pk A large number of Real Estate companies have enhanced their social media presence to increase their reach to clients and customers nationally and internationally. On the other hand around 80 % of buyers were able to find their desirable property by using various online portals and Facebook pages. Many new online property portals are launched in 2017 and many new are in the phase of launching. While many companies still discuss innovations in the property industry and the significance of digital transformation, others have already started their implementation. And while many look at incremental innovations – e.g. increasing performance or reducing costs – others are in the process of fundamentally changing the business processes. The digitalization of real estate in Pakistan is changing the entire market trend and taking in a positive direction which is bringing more transparency as the buyer is able to do a comparative market and product analysis. Moreover, the data being gathered on search engines and various online channels is giving a clear picture of real estate trends and statistics which was impossible to record few years back.
The data generated from a variety of sources have the potential to facilitate major progress across the entire real estate sector – optimization, rationalization, dissemination of information and collaboration, ensuring that management and exploitation are as effective as possible.

CPEC Development is Heightening Real Estate in Pakistan
Pakistan is now primed for foreign investment in real estate. Work has already begun on the $51.5 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the benefits will flow to the real estate industry. Pakistani real estate has seen a tremendous increase in property prices since the agreement. It has not only grabbed the attention of investors, but the demand for land has increased significantly. Prices run into the millions in Gwadar, so we can say it has touched the sky. And, soon after the government announcement to construct a deep-sea port, the remote fishing town of Gwadar witnessed a significant boost in prices. The initiative has given rise to international housing schemes in Gwadar, not only for accommodating Chinese officials but for buyers across the board. Sanghar Housing Scheme, Canadian City, Naval Anchorage, Creek City Gwadar and many other real estate projects have received greater number of investment in 2017. Furthermore, the infrastructural development and initiatives of new energy projects in many urban and remote areas under the CPEC development has given a new dimension and direction to the real estate industry in Pakistan this year. Mega real estate projects advancements near new Islamabad Airport, northern Punjab and in many areas of Sindh is the evidence of this.

This year was a year with both negative and positive developments; however my focus was only on few positive aspects in this article. Real Estate is one of the most significant sectors in every country and Pakistan can make a lot of progress by making the best use of technology, innovation and creativity. There is a dire need that in the upcoming years more well educated and honest professionals contribute positively and this sector benefits every individual and family of our country.

Luxury Apartments Demand on Rise in Rawalpindi / Islamabad

 

The trend of buying luxury apartments has increased in Islamabad during last couple of years, primarily due to an increasing demand for secure, well-maintained and lavish units; it is therefore not surprising that between 2010 and 2016, apartment prices have increased.
Traditionally, apartment projects were mostly restricted to Karachi, as cultural preferences in Lahore and Islamabad were for horizontal residential projects. However, with the rapid urban sprawl, cities have become congested, land prices are going up, and the apartment living trend is swiftly gaining traction in these cities as well. In fact, in the last five years alone, the demand for apartments has gone up by nearly 30%, which has given rise to an increasing number of newly constructed high-rise luxury apartments in major areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
There are approximately five thousand plus ready to move apartments available in Bahria Town phase 1 to 6 having about 60 % residents residing on rent here. Many luxury apartment buildings are in construction phase and few are in the planning stage. It is secure to invest in the luxury apartment projects in Bahria Town because of three main reasons; firstly, Bahria Town has very strict rules/regulations regarding the construction of safe and secure hi-buildings, secondly, the maintenance and development of roads, green belts, parks and other infrastructure is responsibility of the concerned authority, thirdly, residential units are high in demand and mostly occupied on rent as well as purchased. Moreover, the apartment’s buildings are being constructed by renowned and credible developers who provide excellent after sales services like maintenance and provision of facilities like, security, electricity etc.
Apartments are convenient to clean and maintain with few items of furniture. Apartments inside Bahria Town are highly secure and safe as the buildings have their own security system plus Bahria Town’s security on the roads.
Rents are soaring and demand for apartments is historically high in Bahria town phase 1 to 6, Construction of new multifamily units has been robust over the past five years, far outpacing that of single-family homes, but most of the product is in pricey markets and pricier neighborhoods, not in areas where demand is highest. That is because the costs of land and construction rose.
High rise buildings equipped with amenities and luxuries are in high demand within posh areas of major cities which is becoming a Pakistani urban trend and necessity. The best investment options for apartments are Bahria Heights, The Grande which is located in Phase 2, 3 and Civic center.