Realtors now eye suburbs

Real estate companies are opting for more housing projects outside Dhaka, as the soaring land price and its scarcity in the capital have pushed apartments beyond the purchasing capacity of many potential buyers.
Industry people said some realtors have recently embarked on projects in different areas surrounding Dhaka, including Narayanganj, Comilla, Gazipur and Mymensingh, to provide flats at affordable prices.
They also said as these places are comparatively nearer to the capital, many customers have now made up mind to find a permanent housing in these places due mainly to price advantage.
Apartment price outside Dhaka ranges from Tk 2,000 to Tk 3,000 per square foot, while it is not less than Tk 3,500 in the capital, said the sector insiders.
A few months ago Rupayan Housing Estate Ltd has launched a satellite township at Bhuigar off Dhaka-Narayanganj link road with 784 ready flats at comparatively lower prices.
Upon receiving a good response from the customers, the company now plans to go for another project at a nearby place there, but this time for high-end customers, said an official of the company.
“We received a very good response from the customers due to the lower prices we offered and now we are planning a new project near the satellite town,” said Ehsanur Rahman, general manager of Rupayan Housing.
Inspired by the “Rupayan Town” success, another two companies have initiated move to start projects in that area, he added.
Sensing such successes earlier, Advanced Development Technologies Ltd launched a project last year to build the largest private housing estate with over 2,000 apartments in 100 buildings in Savar.
The company officials said the project targeted middle-income people offering almost half of the present market price in the capital.
Another prominent real estate company, Concord Group, has also plan to develop both apartments and plots at two locations outside the capital — one on Dhaka-Chittagong highway and the other on the bank of the Brahmaputra river, said SK Lala, managing director of the company.
“Many retired officials want to buy apartments at comparatively lower prices outside Dhaka to settle in,” said Tanveerul Haq Probal, president of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB), adding that this trend will grow in the days to come.
He also said mobile internet accessibility has already made staying outside the capital easier as now people can meet their information need with the cellular technology from outside Dhaka.
Many real estate companies at the REHAB annual housing fair last year showcased their housing projects that are located outside the capital.
Real estate firm Bangladesh Development Company Ltd at the fair came up with at least four projects comprised of both apartments and office spaces in Narayanganj and Gazipur.
At the same fair, Artisan Apartments Ltd showcased project in Comilla, City Technologies Ltd in Chuadanga, Jamuna Builders Ltd in Gazipur and Natore.
Some others also exhibited their projects located in Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong and Sylhet.
Constructing buildings in major cities like Sylhet and Chittagong began quite a long time ago due to a huge demand pushed by a large population and growing purchasing capacity created by remittance inflow in the regions.
The sector people have urged the government to make a good transportation link between Dhaka and the surrounding areas so people can live outside the capital with ease.
Besides the private sector, the government also wants to develop massive housing projects outside the capital to reduce the pressure in the overpopulated city.
The government plans to build four satellite townships on the outskirts of the capital and announced this year to develop 22,800 plots and construct 26,000 apartments in the next three years.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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