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.

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