What is happening in the current real estate sector? August 2017 Update

Get the latest news from various dailies and stay up to date with the real estate sector of Bangladesh.

“bti to organize events to launch project in Savar”
Star Business Desk
Source: The Daily Star
Date: 4 August 2017

The article features Shopnobilash project launching by Building Technology and Ideas Ltd, a real estate developer company in Bangladesh.

Two separate two day fairs were arranged by bti to launch its Shopnobilash project at Nabinagar in Savar.

The first fair was held at bti Celebration Point in Gulshan on 5th and 6th August while the second one was held at Nabinagar in Savar on 11th and 12th August.

The project has been launched to give middle-income people an opportunity to own a modern apartment with Tk 35 lakh to Tk 55 lakh, a company representative stated regarding its Shopnobilash project which is situated on a 90.75 katha land and comprises of 228 units in seven towers.

 “Home Loan facility for NRBs increased by 25%”
Source: Channel24bd.tv
Date: 2 August 2017

The article features increased home loan facility for NRBs by Bangladesh Bank to revive real estate sector and increase remittance flow in the country.

Remittance from NRBs contributes to 12% of the country’s GDP. However, it decreased by 14% last year with an amount of USD 1276 crore which is the least in the last 5 years. Moreover the sales have decreased by 80% in real estate sector. Bangladesh Bank has taken this initiative to revive the sector as well as increase remittance flow. The facility will enable NRB apartment buyers to avail 75% of the total amount as loan. Previously it was 50% and the loan amount is 70% of the total amount for Bangladeshi residents.

 “State-owned finance provider plans big with low-cost housing”
Source: The Daily Star
Date:  8 August 2017

The article features the scope and future plans of state-owned finance provider Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation (BHBFC) for Bangladesh real estate sector.

Managing Director of BHBFC, Debasish Chakrabarty stated that the corporation would give priority to home loan applicants using low-cost housing technology such as use of hollow bricks in building construction. The hollow bricks require less plaster which reduces construction cost. Use of hollow bricks also saves time as it takes 5 days to complete a roof compared to 21-28 days when conventional bricks are used.

BHBFC discussed the use of this construction material with the leaders of the Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) and in the future plans to manufacture the product on their own.

BHBFC so far has launched several loan products for different segments of the population for financing low-cost housing such as Nagar Bandhu, Palli Ma and Prabash Bandhu.  Debashish Chakrabartry commented that they have lowered the interest rate and currently charges 9.5% for building construction, 10% for flats and 8.5% for rural areas.  They have also increased the loan ceiling from Tk 50 lac to Tk 1 crore for building construction and Tk 80 lac for flats.

 “Real Estate sector in crisis”
Source: Shokaler Khobor
Date: 23 August 2017

The article features the stagnant condition of the real estate sector that has been persistent in the country for some years.

Many developer companies in Bangladesh have taken advance payment and then disappeared from the market or have incomplete projects due to lack of fund. These have raised uncertainty among buyers as they do not receive handover of apartment on time after spending their hard-earned money.

On the other hand many real estate companies in Bangladesh have invested thousands of crores of taka in projects that have remained unsold. As per REHAB data, around 1075 REHAB enlisted real estate companies have a huge number of unsold projects including ready and under construction projects. As a result companies are unable to start new projects. Moreover, due to the slow real estate market correlated industries are also being affected. Almost 269 industries are related to the real estate sector and a stagnant real estate market has decreased selling of products from related industries such as rod, cement etc. The diminished growth of real estate sector is having a negative impact in the country’s overall GDP too.

As per the article, the crisis of real estate sector did not develop overnight but has been ongoing for several years. Although previously real estate sector had a very dynamic market, the sector has been in turbulence since 2007-2008 and faced another blow in 2010. High land price, cessation of real estate refinancing fund by Bangladesh Bank, over all recession in the country are some of the reasons which have been detrimental for the real estate sector.

Due to high land price, developer companies in Bangladesh have to pay a huge amount as signing money to landowners which diminishes their profits and even if they try to sell apartments with discount, many home buyers are discouraged to buy a home because of high registration fee. The article recommends policies that ensure fair negotiation between landowners and developer companies, reestablishment of real estate fund with low-interest rate and long-term installment facility as well as hassle free investment of undeclared money in the real estate sector to revive it.

“Home Financing Fair to be held in Dhaka in October”
Source: Prothom Alo
Date: 24 August 2017

A three-day fair is going to start in Dhaka titled “Home Financing Fair” which has been arranged by Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation (BHBFC). The fair will be ongoing from 19-21 October at Hotel Sonargaon where there will be a total of 75 stalls from 50 real estate companies, banks and financial institutions as well as construction material manufacturers. Managing Director of BHBFC, Debasish Chakrabatry stated in a press conference, “The objective of the fair is to gather people from real estate sector and related sectors all under one roof to encourage investment in the sector.”

“Unplanned construction bane for city”
Source: The Daily Star
Date: 27 August 2017

The article highlights the urgency for land usage policy in the country. Based on data from Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, it has been revealed that the country is losing land at the rate of one percent per year. Over the years Dhaka has transformed to an unrecognizable city due to real estate construction boom in a haphazard manner. To alleviate the dire condition of city planning, passing of legislation of “City and Area Planning Act 2017″ is urgently needed.

With the implementation of this Act, realtors would have to first seek permission for any construction from concerned authority and face imprisonment for violation of the law. Since land grabbing is a common phenomenon in Bangladesh, the implementation of the policy will benefit everyone and put a stoppage to any unplanned construction. Experts believe with such a policy, the country can move towards a better planned city with zoning and separation between agricultural and non-agricultural lands.