Investors to Pour Hefty Investment in Pakistan Realty Sector
Pakistan, home to almost 200 million people, is currently facing the shortage of about 10 million housing units as the pace of construction is far slower than the growth of population. This is actually the huge gap that has made housing business profitable and kept attracting investors towards the sector.
Overseas Pakistanis have been a major source of investment in the country' s real estate market since long.
"The newly announced investment is, however, less than half of what investors committed last year," Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) Chairman Mohsin Sheikhani said at the end of the three-day ABAD Expo 2017.
At the end of last year' s expo, the property developers and builders had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for investment worth Rs500 billion. While the drop this year in investment commitment is due to recent political turmoil and uncertainty in the country. Most of the investors do not take investment decision until the clarity in the political scenario.
Sheikhani urged the government to frame policies in a bid to turn unplanned cities into well-planned urban centres as ill-planning had left many major cities backward. "Around 12 million people are living in slums across the country; half of the Karachi city has been built unplanned," he said.
A Canadian investment company was constructing a chain of hotels named Holiday Express in different countries and is now interested in establishing five hotels in all the major cities of Pakistan. Besides this, another ABAD member had an understanding with a UK-based company for encouraging investment in Pakistan' s property market, he said.
Speaking at the expo, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said the unplanned construction had given birth to a number of issues in Karachi, including a poor sewerage system and lack of drinking water. He drew a link between the unplanned construction and terrorism in the city, saying terrorists had many a time also held hostage the builders and developers to extort money.
On the contrary, he has also emphasized that the government is paving the way for planned housing schemes, as the Sindh government had spent Rs45 billion on development works in the previous fiscal year ended June 30, 2016, adding it would spend a similar amount on new development projects in the current fiscal year as well.