Real Estate: Q1 OF 2015 starts off in stable fashion

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RealEstate(1)Towards the end of 2014, real estate prices in most localities around the country had stabilised and some areas were seeing decent growth. As the first quarter of 2015 got underway, the market retained this stability for the most part. No major locality suffered a sharp drop in prices, and with the exception of DHA Karachi and LDA Avenue I – both of which saw sharp rises in rates at the turn of the year – controlled changes in prices were the order of the day according to stats from Zameen.com, Pakistan’s largest property portal.

In terms of popularity, Lahore’s landscape remained pretty much unchanged. Karachi, however, saw a significant change in dynamics – DHA Karachi dropped to third place on Zameen.com’s list of the top 5 localities for homes in Karachi in January 2015, overtaken by the likes of Gulistan-e-Jauhar and Gulshan-e-Iqbal. North Karachi also made it on to the list for the first time. This is something investors should take note of.
Towards the end of 2014 Lahore’s market was showing largely upward trends. At the start of 2015, prices in Lahore Cantt remained stable, dropping a negligible 0.59% in January, while DHA Lahore continued its slow and steady upward march with a 2.51% rise in prices at the start of 2015. After a strong Q4 of 2014, Bahria Town Lahore saw prices come down 2.45% in January 2015, while LDA Avenue I continued its upward trajectory and saw a sharp 5.88% rise in prices of 1-kanal plots.
Islamabad’s market did not experience any major changes at the start of the year. Prices in Sector F-11 have maintained a fairly flat trajectory for six months now, and gained 1.03% in January 2015, while prices of 1-kanal plots in Sector E-11 experienced a small drop of 2.10% in the same time period.
Bahria Town did not have a very thrilling 2014, and the start of 2015 saw prices coming down another 1.13%. DHA Islamabad, meanwhile, saw prices of 1-kanal plots rise by 2.24% in January.
Karachi’s real estate market was the very picture of stability in 2014, at least for the most part, and as 2015 began, most major localities continued to remain stable. DHA Karachi, however, saw a strong upward push in rates with a sharp 8.64% rise in prices of 1-kanal plots.
Prices in Gulshan-e-Iqbal remained stable, losing a negligible 0.41% in value in January 2015, while Gulistan-e-Jauhar saw a very controlled increase in prices of 1-kanal plots, which climbed by 1.55%. Prices in DHA City Karachi remained virtually unchanged, gaining only 0.27% over the course of January 2015.
No massive changes were expected at the start of the year, which is usually a time when property investors are taking stock and unlikely to make any major moves. This has largely been reflected in the market as well, where any sharp upward or downward movement occurred only as an exception.
But with the political climate cooling down substantially, there is every likelihood that the coming months are going to see significantly increased activity in the real estate market. “I am glad to see such a solid start to 2015. If the real estate market continues to follow this path of stability, we are going to see some good returns by the second half of the year, after which things could pick up pace if the overall situation of the country remains stable,” said Zeeshan Ali Khan, the CEO of Zameen.com.

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