In 2017, a major change in real estate dynamics of Pakistan was observed where a tremendous decline in property rates was observed in some prime projects, while modest price correction of 10 to 20% was recorded in others. Based on the factors that contributed to this drop in investment activity during the last couple of years, 2018 doesn’t look very promising either, especially if you are looking to score some quick bucks.
The real estate investors who were enthusiastic about buying property in Lahore some years ago are not very positive about making a similar move at the moment. But does this mean that making an investment in the property market right now is not recommended at all? That, my friends, is not correct.
But first, let’s have a look at the main reasons why the property transaction volume is expected to stay low during 2018.
The election year
A major factor contributing to the uncertainty that prevails in the real estate market is the upcoming General Election 2018. If you are familiar with how investors behave before, during and even after the elections take place in the country, you will agree with me the situation will continue to be the same in
2018 as well, where most of the active buyers will be genuine buyers. But due to existing pressure on property owners who have been holding on to their investments in hopes of getting the right bid, some opportunities will surely make their way to you.
In this regard, Farooq Zafar Nizami of Saiban Associates, who enjoys an experience of over four decades of serving in Pakistan’s property market, has shared an interesting view; he is expecting the rates to drop further during the election time period in societies and projects that don’t attract a decent number of genuine buyers. So according to Nizami, the right time to buy property in some of the most promising real estate development is just around the corner.
It is a general observation that a considerably high fluctuation in property rates exists due to existing uncertainty about the country’s current political situation. Since the circumstances are only expected to get worse in this game of getting into the power, some investors having a poor capacity to deal with such pressure situation may feel compelled to sell their immovable assets made purely for investment purposes.
But what will happen after the election? A dawn of the real estate market’s golden era where rates have only way to go, which is upwards is not promised but the expected change is nonetheless positive. A few months after the election’s dirt settles, investment activity is expected to resume, bring along a decent rise in demand and consequently a rise in property prices.
So where to buy property right now?
In this regard, the most promising projects are essentially those where a decline in the market rate was the highest due to lack of investment activity. Please don’t confuse it with projects where rates went down because of genuine reasons involving vicious intentions of the developer. So what do we have? Read on to find out.
DHA Lahore Residential Plots
In this society, which is a particular favourite of buyers looking to make safe investments, genuine property demand is seen high for residential plots in Phase VI, VII, VIII, and IX. Those who invested here in the last few months also had long-term investment plans. And that’s despite the fact that correction was noticed in rates of plots having unrealistic price tags, bringing along a stability in the market.
So if you are looking to buy residential plots for genuine needs, the recommended phase is Phase VI. This phase has matured in terms of market rate and any further decline is not expected here. On the other hand, a continuous drop in rate was observed for plots in Phase VII, Phase VIII and Phase IX in the past. As of late, property rates are seen stable in these phases, or more importantly not going up. In other words, if you are looking to buy valuable plots at reasonable rates in these phases, you should do so immediately.
For pure investment purposes, the recommended option is Phase VIII’s Ivy Green sector, which is also known as Block Z. In this sector, the DHA is looking to grant property possession soon, the date for which can be announced any time. This is one particular DHA sector deemed best for short-term trading.
In addition to Ivy Green, the developer Is also planning to hold ballot to allocate plot numbers in DHA Rahbar Phase II Extension. Combined with the recent inauguration of Lahore Ring Road’s Southern Loop II, the upcoming ballot will excite things up for this project too.
Properties and projects along Barki Road also hold great potential because of their proximity to the city’s important developments. Farmhouses along this road are undervalued at the moment and their market price is anticipated to increase gradually during the year. The ongoing expansion of Barki Road and presence of Information Technology University here only adds more value to neighbourhood. Even if the anticipated price rise is not stark, rates will not drop either.
This is a tricky place to buy property as many developers have been active here without ensuring that their societies meet the authenticity criteria set by the Lahore Development Authority. Trying to benefit from the existing demand, many developers have also tried to trick buyers who were looking to make small investments in the shape of property forms. Among them, the most notorious one is the developer of Model Housing. The situation is not promising for Ferozepur City either. So property buyers should stay away from these two projects.
For those looking to pick a safe society for making medium- to long-term investment should instead go for on-ground plots in Central Park and Grand Avenues Housing Society.
Lake City Lahore
Lake City holds great potential to experience appreciation in rates during the year but mostly for plots that have not reached their peak price. In fact, as soon as investment activity resumes in Lahore, Lake City will emerge as one of the most prime projects meeting investment criteria for many buyers. If you want to be an early bird to benefit the most from the expected price appreciation in this society, you should be on a lookout for the right deal.
That was my review of the market situation in Lahore. It is expected of you to use this information for making wise investment moves. Stay tuned for the next review.