Vol. 5 Num 211 Sat. December 25, 2004  

Rehab Fair-2004
Flats beyond middle-class reach as land gets pricey

Middle-income group visitors at the fourth edition of the real estate fair being held at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel find apartment prices beyond their reach while real estate developers attribute the situation to unimaginable rise in land prices.

Visitors said flats are so costly that most people cannot dream of owning a house even with the help of lending institutions as their monthly salary cannot meet instalment requirements.

However, developers said as land area in Dhaka is dwindling, price of flats is going up. Some 75 companies are offering hundreds of apartments ranging from Tk 800 to Tk 4,000 per square feet with a price tag from Tk 10 lakh to Tk 1 crore for a flat.

Visiting the fair, families consisting of at least four members observe that they need at least Tk 15 lakh to buy a livable apartment in Dhaka. "We look for a flat but find not a single one suiting our choice in location and budget. We find no one below Tk 20 lakh that meets our requirements of a four-member family. We choose a flat worth Tk 15 lakh but that is out of Dhaka city," Shamsul Haq from Nakhalpara said.

Ashraful Islam, deputy manager (marketing) of Advanced Design and Developments Limited, a real estate developer, said, "Developers have to buy land or make deals with land owners to make flats. In Dhanmondi per bigha land now costs Tk 6 crore. As land becomes rarer, price is also going up."

"Although price of building materials especially MS rod is high, we can still offer apartments at affordable prices. It is the land not structure that makes apartments pricey," he said.

A sales official of Eastern Housing, another real estate company, said many companies now go outside Dhaka to develop land and make apartments in the outskirts but land price is also high there. "Go to Ashulia, Savar, Tongi or Naranyanganj and you will see land price is almost similar to that of Dhaka," he pointed out.

"Apart from higher prices of flats and plots, high registration and transfer fees shatter dreams of middle-income group to own a house in Dhaka," Aminur Rahman, who runs a shop at Mirpur said.

Real estate companies put on sale a wide range of apartments and plots located at different parts of Dhaka and its outskirts at the fair.

Crescent Holdings has come up with six apartment projects and a commercial complex project at the fair. The size ranging from 950 to 1695 square feet, the apartments are located at Mirpur, Moghbazar, Sukrabad and west Dhanmondi.

Rangs Properties offers flats at Gulshan, Lalmatia, Uttara, New Eskaton, Khilgaon, Siddeshwari and Wari. Space of its flats varies from 1450 to 4370 square feet. It also has commercial and office space at four complex at Purana Paltan, Dhanmondi and Mohakhali.

Subastu Developments Limited is offering nine apartment projects, two shopping malls and an office space project. Ranging from 915 to 2150 square feet, the apartments are located at Dhanmondi, Lalmatia, Indira Road, Gulshan, Uttara and Shahjadpur. The shopping malls and office spaces are available on Elephant Road and Moghbazar.

Subastu offers free furniture for the ready-to-sale apartments and 20 percent discount for space in shopping malls and office complex.

Russell Lodge offers apartments at Dhanmondi, Kalabagan, Uttara, Mohammadpur, Shayamoli and other areas. On spot booking of Tk 1 lakh at the fair, the customers will get 10 percent discount.

East West Property Develop-ments put on sale apartments and plots at its Baridhara, River View and Bashundhara city projects. On payment of Tk 25,000 as booking money at the fair, clients will get a 21-inch colour television set and a DVD player as gifts.

Brac Concord Lands offers plots at its Rajdhani Prokalpo at Demra, City Homes at Uttara and Rainbow Lands at Ashulia with options of 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5 and 5 katha. On payment of Tk 25,000 as booking money, customers will get prize bond worth Tk 5,000 and a scratch card offering discount up to Tk 50,000.

Customers see list of residential and commercial projects at a stall yesterday on the second day of the real estate fair organised by Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (Rehab) at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel. PHOTO: STAR