The time to buy real estate in Bangladesh is now, Lamudi recommends

News Hour:

On Thursday, September 14th, Lamudi.com.bd, an online real estate platform in Bangladesh, held a press conference in which they presented their 2017 Market Research. In the presentation, Managing Director Anne Hermans discussed various economic trends, possibilities for the real estate sector in Bangladesh and the outlook for 2017/2018. Mr. FR Khan, Managing Director, BTI, was present as special guest.

“The time to buy property in Bangladesh is now.” Concluded Ms. Hermans during the presentation of a large-scale market research done by Lamudi.

Political instability, limited bank loans, a bearish stock market, and lack of adequate gas and electricity supply were the main causes of the difficult position in the real-estate industry in the country in 2012 and created a second dip in 2014.

Anne Maria Hermans, Co-founder, and Managing Director, Lamudi Bangladesh speaks at the press conference

When characterizing the current state of affairs, Ms. Hermans drew on her experiences with experts, mortgage lenders, property seekers as well as from data Lamudi.com.bd.

“More than it has been for a long time, I would say that it’s a buyers market”. Low-interest rates and supportive government policies have resulted in an unprecedented access to mortgages.

This has coincided with four years of stagnant demand for houses. After the first bubble, the real estate industry has been battling a bad reputation and has seen a lot of developers closing their doors. The companies that currently offer products have survived 4 difficult years, and are very willing to sell. With housing prices dropping in some areas with over 30%, house buyers can be assured they get value for money.

Mr. FR Khan, Managing Director, BTI speaking at the press conference

This view is supported by special guest and contributor to the research, Engr. F.R. Khan, Managing Director of BTI. “As a result of the 2012 and 2014 asset price bubbles, only genuine, interested and skillful developers are left in the market, who take their job seriously and are not in it for the short gain.”

Also in the longer term, he sees excellent prospects. “We have a vision for 2021, if we keep that in mind, everyone will move in the same direction, and we will gain momentum. The roadmap is already there.”

He further says, “We have a vision for 2021 if we keep that in mind, everyone will move in the same direction, and we will gain momentum. The roadmap is already there.”

GROWTH

Bangladesh is Asia’s 2nd fastest growing economy, with recent GDP growth exceeding 7%. Strong growth in the industrial and service sectors (11.09% and 6.25% growth respectively), helped to sustain this outstanding national economic performance. At this pace, 2 million Bangladeshis join the ranks of middle-class and affluent consumers every year.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT

Ms. Anne highlighted the historical growth of foreign investment in 2015, reaching a US$2 billion mark for the first time ever. Now, with China investing a total of 24.45 billion US$, there is a new horizon ahead for Bangladesh. The plans to build a seaport in Payra could be one of the most promising for the real estate industry, creating a new consumer market for development, and possibly a booming new city.

RAPID URBANIZATION

The rapid urbanization in Bangladesh emphasizes this. Dhaka is expected to have 35 million citizens by 2035 and is in need for secondary cities to take on some of the pressure to develop. From data of Lamudi.com.bd it is shown that cities like Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Comilla, Mymensingh, and Khulna are emerging, however, a new harbor city like Payra could really be a game-changer.

Within all these areas, especially development of affordable housing is key. The National Housing Authority (NHA), supports that need in Dhaka, with their latest 11 multi-story building project for residential accommodation in Mirpur. Also with the ongoing development of Purbachal City, the government tries hard to address the growing population of the city.

Next exciting steps to take, as well as huge possibilities for the real estate industry, are the development of Dhaka East. In a recent conference of the World Bank, the importance of the planned development of Dhaka East was stressed, currently a wealth of space for the city to grow.

THE RISE OF E-COMMERCE

Ms. Hermans said the real estate industry needs consumer trust to come back, and that online market places can facilitate in returning that confidence. With over 250 e-commerce websites and 2,800 Facebook pages selling products and services, the e-commerce sector is growing steadily, at a rate of 10%.

According to her statement, Lamudi.com.bd is at the forefront of this movement and is part of the growing group of companies that are disrupting traditional ways of conducting business, enabling people to save time and money when making life-changing decisions, such as buying a house.

Ms. Hermans further said, “Finding the right property can be one of the most difficult things to do in a city like Dhaka. Using an online marketplace like lamudi.com.bd can speed up the process of finding a good match, by comparison, a wealth of information and a good overview of the current market offer.”

By enhancing the use of information, Lamudi is in good company. Other behemoths of the online world owe their success largely to their innovative use of data analytics to boost performance and customer service.

ACTIVATING THE DATA FLOW

With a wealth of data on their website, Lamudi.com.bd plans to support the sector in matching supply & demand. “Developers can use this information to better plan new developments, or strategically choose areas for future projects.

According to data from  Lamudi.com.bd, currently, the most popular area in Dhaka is Uttara, with the number of inquiries taking an all-time high at the end of 2016.

Further,  Ms. Hermans elaborated on the stabilization of prices for property in many different areas like Dhanmondi, Banani, and Bashundara for the last 3 quarters, indication a new equilibrium in the industry.

She further said, “The time to buy property in Bangladesh is now. Finding the right property can be one of the most difficult things to do in a city like Dhaka. Using an online marketplace like lamudi.com.bd can speed up the process of finding a good match, by comparison, a wealth of information and a good overview of the current market offer.”

According to Ms. Hermans, by enhancing the use of information, Lamudi is in good company. Other behemoths of the online world owe their success largely to their innovative use of data analytics to boost performance and customer service.

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Mehrab Masayeed Habib studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) at American International University Bangladesh (AIUB). Currently, he is working for News Hour. He is passionate about automobiles. He is also the founder & trainer of Bangla Automobile School. He conducts workshops on automobile engineering at local level.

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