The Detailed Area Plan (DAP) proposed and prepared by RAJUK in December 2021 the summary of which has been finally approved by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 6th July 2022. The 20-year master plan was approved with the aim to make Dhaka a liveable and modern mega city by the year 2035. Although its intention is to decentralize Dhaka city making the capital habitable, however this has caused an alarming woe for the real estate industry. Real estate experts have suggested that it will create chaos in the real estate business. Here is a breakdown of the DAP that may help to get details about the new rule for the real estate industry.
According to DAP’s, the construction area of residential plots will be reduced by 33-53% from the existing construction area. Previously, the approved floor plan size of a 5-katha plot next to a 20 ft road was 13,500 sq ft with eight floors. Under DAP, this has been reduced to 9000 sq ft with five floors. This is done by ward-wise allocation of floor area ratio (FAR). When DAP is implemented throughout Dhaka, floor space of buildings throughout the city will decrease by almost 50%. Since, the population is ever growing and apartment demand is soaring day by day, the competition to purchase one apartment will be tremendous, and as a result the price of one apartment may increase by almost 25% to 30%.
The Detailed Area Plan (DAP) will be used as the basis for land use zoning, infrastructure development, spatial planning, civic amenities, utility services, and other issues of the metropolis. Dhaka’s metropolis region is now 1562 sq km, which means DAP is applicable all the way from the forest area of Gazipur to the trade area of Narayanganj, covering Savar, Old Dhaka, and Keraniganj along the way. The aim is to decentralize the current population of Dhaka to the outskirts of the city by providing affordable housing in those regions. DAP might not have taken into account the country’s economic and political stability and how it can affect other industries. The 269 industries linked to the real estate sector (such as steel, tiles, cement, etc.) are at risk of incurring losses due to DAP, combined with post-pandemic inflation and volatile economic conditions of the country. The recent fuel and construction material price hikes have driven up construction costs to the point that it hurts the chances of a large portion of the population who want to afford even a small apartment. While most upper middle class and even some lower middle-class individuals could afford apartments, now a vast majority of the population cannot. DAP intended to solve the city’s problems by providing affordable apartments to the masses and promoting equity.
The new DAP rules will hurt landowners the most, as they will be restricted to a minimum number of apartments per land. Due to the reduction of FAR, landowners considering joint venture development may be offered 25-40% less usable area than before. It may not be a fruitful option for many landowners, and the total cash money will also be significantly reduced. The lowered share of proportions may not be viable for real estate developers to be involved in developing the land altogether. Rent will subsequently skyrocket because there will be few apartments for the incredible number of potential tenants. The shortage of housing and rent price increase can create dissatisfaction for landowners, homeowners, and tenants alike. Please note that many of the real estate developers are even still unaware of these changed.
If one is seeking an apartment at a reasonable price, there is still some good news left! DAP will not affect current under construction projects and lands already approved for construction under the previous rules. This means one can still buy an apartment at a reasonable price. Any land approved for construction after gazette publication will have to follow the rules of DAP and set higher prices accordingly.
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