Has Covid-19 Changed the Pakistan Real Estate Sector Forever?


Has Covid-19 Changed the Pakistan Real Estate Sector Forever?

Needless to ask that what a year 2020 has been for everyone? Amidst uncertainty, lockdown, and social distancing induced by Covid-19 over the past one year, one thing is notable that the pandemic has re-organized our social lives, work life and impacted drastically on economy. It has disrupted the previous order and re-arranged rules and regulations on an unprecedented scale. And when it comes to gauging its impact on Pakistan real estate sector, some of them are irreversible.

It is because this time the realty market had not been competing with cash-backed or bank-leased market crashing, political turmoil in the country, international realty market crashing or the financial speculation after which real estate experts and agents gather confidence that whatever the condition is but sooner or later the market will thrive and snap back to normal happenings.

What are post covid-19 concerns?

First of all, it is not post covid-19 era, because the pandemic is still on us and smart lockdown is being imposed from time to time and shifted from one place to another. Secondly, the questions are not related to market recovery post economic downturn or interest rates based but are more deep-seated and pandemic related and not all Pakistan real estate agents and experts have the answers yet.

For instance, what if the schools would start delivering online classes for the next few years then what is the purpose of investing in properties in Lahore near schools? What if companies let workers work remotely for the next several years or they are given choice to attend office or work from the comfort of their homes then how small homes with less number of rooms and more number of family members will become optimum choice? What is the point of living close to commercial plazas or shops, if all you need can be sourced online? What if restaurants will keep working on 50 percent capacity, who would want to return to eateries and similarly several other entertainment options including cinemas? Who would prefer investing in commercial properties in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad or other leading cities in Pakistan?

What can be the possible outcomes?

The answers to these questions will determine the fate of Pakistan real estate sector as it will decide how to behave in the new normal, which will directly impact the realty sector’s growth, demand, price and value appreciation and indirectly on the economy. Against this backdrop, let’s try to analyse the realty market trends that seem to be permanent for the next few years and the opportunities, it has created for real estate developers and agents.

Spike in demand for eco-friendly projects

Lahore and Islamabad hailed as the two best cities in Pakistan that meet the best living standards and present the most notable residential projects. Amidst corona virus induced disasters, a number of private developers came forward to announce residential projects to meet the new demand of potential property buyers. Yes, there is a shift in the number of attributes that were previously considered as “must haves” for making property purchase decisions. For instance, people used to invest in properties in Lahore and Islamabad based on location, and proximity to nearby schools, healthcare centres and commercial entities.

However, now the buyers want residential projects that have focused on providing open green spaces, security and surveillance, centralized amenities within the development and healthier outlook with projects being less dense – with pandemic seems not to end soon. Lahore Smart City is one such project that is recently announced and has become talk of the town as it is smart, eco-friendly and depicts a captivating infrastructure development plan.

Home office

The pandemic has taught us what previously was not even imaginable. For instance, work from home, online grocery shopping and remote learning for kids and adults alike have become new normal, which leads to having quiet and separate space within house to perform these functions efficiently. Obviously, parents of small children can totally understand that what it is like to conduct an online official meeting from your lounge with a toddler besides.

The number of queries received at Homes Pakistan clearly depicts that having a home with a separate yet functional home office has become a crucial choice. Home owners are looking to add this space to their home or tenants are looking for rental properties in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi that can accommodate their work preferences. In short, with no clear end to the pandemic in sight, people are adapting new lifestyle.

Enhanced property standards

Amongst the several negatives caused by Covid-19 induced pandemic, the alarming one is “pandemic fatigue”, which is becoming a growing concern. There is mounting level of stress and anxiety amongst people that is affecting their health along with professional and personal lives. Psychiatrists are concerned over growing number of cases thus they suggest that being closer to the nature is the solution.

If you cannot go out due to lockdown, go to your garden, lawn or balcony for some fresh air. Therefore, a number of buyers are looking for homes that have proper ventilation and has a lawn, no matter how small or big. Biophilic design helps connect the nature with concrete, using abundant of natural materials, spatial designs and access points to the natural environment.

Online sale, purchase and virtual property tours

The pandemic has not just changed the demands of property buyers but it has also redesigned the rules governing Pakistan real estate sector. Neither the government allows unnecessary trips nor do the buyers want to risk their health for a property deal. Therefore, buyers prefer finding a property online, deciding the meeting and demand for a virtual tour before visiting the site in real.

Pakistan real estate agents are asked to adopt this new change and come up with new digital experience for the home buyers, which will help potential buyers imagine as if they are physically visiting the website. Anyone who will adopt this technology well and before others can experience an unimaginable increase in prestigious and serious clientele.

A stronger realty market

Yes, Pakistan real estate sector always performed well because it is cash-backed market, with a number of potential investors ready to invest in prime projects. Similarly, the market was in full swing in the beginning of year 2020 but the activity fell down during the first country wide lockdown due to Covid-19.

However, once the lockdown was lifted, the market started showing recovery signs. Now despite having smart lockdown at several places in the leading cities of Pakistan, the sector appeared to be fully ready to handle the crisis, efficiently. The data shows that the market has started stabilising by the end of 3rd quarter of 2020 and the number of queries validate the claims. The agents have assured to start closing more deals, even some are virtually closed.

The experts at HomesPakistan are confident to see consistent growth in the sector. Despite adopting the new normal, the market has also become more dynamic, adaptable to new trends and come up with several new residential projects to meet serious buyers’ needs. If you want to know more about these projects, do write to us at contact@homespakistan.comand our experts will get back to you. Simultaneously, do not forget to like our Facebook page and subscribe to our newsletter.

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