“Housing fair of bti starts today”
The article features a three-day apartment fair arranged by building technology and ideas ltd, a real estate developer company in Bangladesh. The fair was held in Dhaka, Chittagong and Comilla from 22 September to 24 September 2017. Sixteen new apartment projects along with ready flats for sale were showcased in the fair. Some of the newly launched projects included Lake View at Gulshan, The Sunrise at Bashundhara R/A, Roselyn at Uttara and New Haven and The Orient in Panchlaish R/A, Chittagong. The fair also showcased Premier Plaza, a commercial project at Progoti Shoroni, Dhaka.
The article highlights a new app launched by real estate listing portal Pbazar. Pbazar app can be installed on Android smart phones and it will help apartment buyers find their desired home. Through this app, people can also find plots and office space for sale. The app allows buying, selling as well as renting of property.
The article highlights the exorbitant rents for commercial space as a result of which many startup entrepreneurs shift to residential areas. Apart from the high rent, property owners are also known to ask a hefty amount in advance. Realtors related the high rents to high land prices and construction costs. Commercial buildings are normally constructed in premium locations, as a result of which property owners ask a high price for land from developer companies. The article cites that commercial space in Gulshan Avenue has the highest price. Similar high rates also exist for commercial space in Banani, Motijheel, Karwan Bazar and Dhanmondi.
Alamgir Shamsul Alamin, President of REHAB commented that price of commercial space is double than that of residential space and sometimes, even triple which makes it difficult for many business people to buy own space and do business. To alleviate the situation, he recommended Government to reserve plots for commercial use only and the prices of those spaces should not exceed 10-15% than that of residential space. DCCI President, Abul Kashem commented that only decentralization of Dhaka will help in adjusting the exorbitant prices.
The article features the findings of a research on current real estate market in Bangladesh by Lamudi, an online real estate portal in Bangladesh. A press conference was held in the capital city regarding the research findings. The research was based on data collected from 2015 to July of 2016. The real estate sector of Bangladesh went through a turbulent time from 2012 to 2015 due to political instability. Some small developer companies shut down business during that period due to heavy loss. However, reputed developer companies in Bangladesh with the mindset to serve the customers survived this period and are still doing well. The findings show apartment price has decreased in various locations by 10-30%.
The research also revealed that the market is favorable for real estate investment now because of home loan availability with low-interest rate. Among the findings, Uttara seemed to be the popular choice of location among apartment buyers. To augment the reason behind this, the research claims that the neighborhood has plenty of facilities and is within the price range of prospective home buyers. Apartment price per square foot in this area is Tk 6,900 whereas in Dhanmondi, Banani, the apartment price per square foot is from Tk 10,000-Tk 12,000. The article further states that apartment price in Banani, Dhanmondi and Bashundhara has stabilized over the last one year.
Anne Maria Hermans, Managing Director of Lamudi stated that the time is right for those looking to buy flats in Dhaka. Mr. FR Khan, Managing Director of building technology and ideas ltd. was also present who recommended reducing registration fee of secondary apartments to facilitate apartment buying.
The article features government initiative to facilitate home buying for its employees with low-interest rate. However, there will be no separate fund establishment for this purpose and the loans will be disbursed by the banks. The information has been sourced from a report by the Ministry of Finance of Bangladesh.
Construction loan for government employees is currently Tk 1.20 lac which has been so since 1982. At the start of this year, a committee has been formed under Mr. A. R.M Nazmus Sakib, Additional Secretary of Ministry of Finance to develop a new policy in place of the previous one. The report mentioned the facility is intended to aid government employees for construction of house or buying flats. Currently, the lowest interest rate is 8.5%. With the new policy for government employees, it would be 5% and the rest 3.5% would be subsided by Government. The report proposes five group divisions among the existing twenty grades among employees. It also suggests an agreement between Finance Division of Ministry of Finance and banks and later there would be a tripartite agreement with the borrower. The tripartite agreement would have some requirements such as construction of building as per government rules and regulations, REHAB membership of Developer Company and so on. Besides that, transfer of flat possession has to be done within six months of loan approval and payment to the developer company and monthly installments would start after the six months.
Officials of Ministry of Finance stated that such as an initiative would not be a huge expense on the Government but rather would help curb corruption as every government employee dreams of homeownership and there is a particular segment of such employees who will do anything to fulfill that dream.
The article features the sluggish condition of real estate sector in Bangladesh. As per the article, although apartment price has fallen by 10-30%, apartment sale has reduced by half. Insufficient land in Dhaka and high land prices are the reasons which have shifted home buyers to invest in apartments instead of building houses. Realtors commented that even with the demand for housing, investment in real estate sector is low and this is affecting the economy of the country as well. Real estate developer companies are hopeful that the market will revive, especially if initiative is taken to make home loan easily available. Realtors also cautioned that Government has to pay attention so that money is not laundered abroad and investors are not keen in buying second homes in foreign countries.