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Pakistan: Thriving Real Estate Market

Pakistan being a land of opportunities amidst all the political and sometimes social instability it faces is nothing less than a miracle. Eventually it does come up to speed with what the world around it usually comprises of. Taking Financial bubbles for example, came the Tech bubble and like that the one important to us, the housing bubble. Though it was faced in USA, somehow our country didn’t disappoint following its lead and up went the real estate prices here too. It can be argued that at that very point, Bahria Town, had starting burying its roots deep into the Pakistan economy in early 2000’s, later on becoming the largest private Asian housing society. Taking the real estate market up with it wherever it set its foot into the horizon, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Islamabad and then Karachi, city-level projects that not only brought thousands of jobs on the table but also provided investment opportunities. This was closely followed by the Defense Housing Authority too which has developed on the same If not smaller scale.

Though this slowly led to creating demand by stocking and setting up a market frenzy where the speculation would drive the prices so high that Pakistan’s Real Estate has been a roller coaster in the Theme park of Finance. Its volatility has led to many booms and busts within this era of 15-20 years. This much time was enough to paint a picture of real estate being a fail-safe option for the upcoming youth. Commodity purchasing became highly expensive with the gold jumping from 40,000 Rupees to 60,000 Rupees per 11 grams. Our banks have been kept at a historical low of deposit rates for almost 2 years. These factors along with the strong stock market crash in 2017 and the one an economic cycle back, led to further investment in real estate and guess what? Everyone opened shop.

Mostly are just limited to Consultancy Services as not everyone can inject huge sums of capital. Generation X may have had a stroke of luck by taking advantage of the booming period of real estate in early 2000s but the market is on a correction since a very long time and given the economic downturn, high unemployment due to job concentrations and the need of applying shortcuts, most of the youth, the Generation Y, has been nothing but waiting in anticipation for it to get better.

However, a Federal Board of Revenue data released in 2015 had estimated that the national real estate industry is at least worth around $700 billion. The Pakistani Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) states that Pakistan faces a housing deficit of 800,000 units and this shortfall is increasing by 300,000 units each year but only big names seem lucrative enough to be offered and no one taps the underdeveloped market themselves to muster up some real growth and benefit from it. Teens are known to just skip colleges and offer consultancy services, not knowing what they are actually selling or without the understanding of the business, all they are doing is focusing on the selling, just to get a commission without investing a penny.

 

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