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Pakistan property sees surge in Gulf-based interest

The tumbling currency in Pakistan has made property investment and buying in cities like Karachi, above, more favourable for Pakistani expats Muhammad Jawaid, Unsplash
The tumbling currency in Pakistan has made property investment and buying in cities like Karachi, above, more favourable for Pakistani expats
  • Climb in sales thanks to GCC and Pakistani expat investors
  • High-rise apartments and commercial units of particular interest
  • Sq ft price of residential property rises by 20% in a year

Pakistan’s real estate sector has seen increased interest from Gulf-based investors over the last year, according to data from the country’s largest property portal.

The Pakistan Property Show was held in Dubai’s World Trade Centre earlier this month. With over 60 exhibitors, it attracted around 20,000 attendees, including Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, director general of the Dubai Land Department.

The event was organised by Zameen.com, which was developed by British-Pakistani brothers, Zeeshan Ali Khan and Imran Ali Khan.

“The company has recorded a year-on-year growth of over 100 percent in the leads generated from the Gulf region, with the website recording an average of 100,000 unique monthly users and a total of four million sessions annually,” Zeeshan Ali Khan told AGBI.

While Khan would not reveal exact figures, the increase in clicks has transferred into a surge in revenue from sales by buyers based in the Gulf, who are most interested in vertical projects, especially mixed-use developments.

“Seventy percent of the buyers from the GCC are particularly interested in high-rise apartment buildings (serviced apartments, hotel suites, residential apartments), along with commercial units,” Khan said.

Pakistanis are the second biggest community in the UAE, after Indians, with around 1.2 million residents in the emirates.

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Zameen CEO Zeeshan Ali Khan said it recorded a 100%-plus year-on-year growth in leads generated from the Gulf

Pakistan is currently experiencing severe economic turmoil as it struggles with a balance of payments crisis, control rising inflation and preventing its rupee currency from weakening even further.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar last month promised to pump billions of dollars into the struggling economy but the tumbling currency has made it advantageous for Pakistani expats in the Gulf.

“The recent economic conditions in Pakistan have made property investment and buying more favourable for Pakistani expats, making it an even more attractive option for people looking to invest in their home country,” Zameen said in a press statement.

Despite the economic turbulence, the website said the price per square feet of houses, plots and residential property had risen by around 13.56 percent, 17.4 percent and 19.83 percent respectively over the past year. 

“Potential buyers and investors from the GCC are smart when it comes to selecting the projects they want to invest in as they focus on those that will ensure capital gains in the long term,” Khan said.

“Projects with a prospective rental yield of five percent or above and capital gains of at least 50 percent are the aim of many prospective buyers.”

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