Lahore is undergoing an evident transformation — and it’s not just about its outlook but also about the way its residents are now welcoming a change in their lifestyle. Well, it took a while for the metropolis to adapt to more modern and sustainable ways to expand yet keep its urban infrastructure intact, but, eventually, it wholeheartedly embraced the concept of vertical living.
In fact, the time Lahore took to go along with the shifting dynamics of urban construction and expand vertically helped the real estate and development experts in an unprecedented way. It gave them enough window to plan, propose and work on masterfully planned residential buildings and mixed-use complexes that are not only bound to transform the urban skyline but also envisaged to be sustainable in the long run, causing less burden on the city’s resources.
EFFORTS TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Ever since it was decided by the concerned government authorities that the metropolitan cities in Pakistan would expand vertically, a large number of apartment projects and mixed-use developments were launched in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan and Faisalabad, among other cities. In order to promote vertical living, save valuable land and make cities more sustainable, several exemptions in taxes were offered, such as:
- Cover against the declaration of income source
- Fixed tax regime for the construction sector
- 90% tax reduction on low-cost housing projects launched under the NPHP initiative
- Reduction in CVT and stamp duty
- Withdrawal of withholding and service taxes on construction material
- Reduction in sales tax
Responding to these incentives, real estate developers, builders and investors stepped forward; according to estimates, projects worth around PKR 1 trillion were launched between 2020 and 2021. The response was so overwhelming that some experts believed that the flow of investment had the potential to help the country rid of its dependence on the IMF loan programme in the next few years.
The efforts to revive the construction sector by the government also resulted in the creation of new jobs. More construction activities meant more employment opportunities. All these initiatives and developments, directly or indirectly, benefit the economy of the country by generating billions of rupees and thousands of employment opportunities.
The role of the concerned development authorities was particularly crucial in this regard. The entire process to facilitate vertical expansion had to be devised with utter care. In order for these new developments to yield sustainable results down the road, the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) played a very active role throughout 2019 and 2020. This helped Lahore set its direction for vertical urban expansion in a flawless manner.
The authority introduced new building and zoning regulations to encourage the construction of high-rises and skyscrapers in the city. Under the proposed ‘free height’ authorisation by the LDA, real estate developments spanning an area of 12 kanals or more have no restrictions on height limit, while buildings measuring 10-marla, 1-kanal, 2-kanal, 4-kanal and 8-kanal could have up to 4, 7, 10, 15 and 24 floors respectively. The LDA also made it mandatory for developers to provide rooftop gardens, rainwater harvesting facilities, parking space, kiosks and convenience stores in these buildings.
Inspired by the progressive approach of the LDA and the lucrative scope that came along with these new regulations, Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) drafted a document to implement the LDA Building and Zoning Regulations 2019. By adopting these regulations, the RDA is now geared to boost construction activities and manage the city’s urban expansion in a more sustainable way.
After the LDA gave a go-ahead for high-rise construction, real estate developers from around the country found Lahore’s market ripe for high-rise development, especially when there was an ever-growing demand for affordable residential units equipped with modern facilities.
According to FBR’s official website, out of the 2,000 projects that were registered under the tax amnesty scheme (till July 2021 from across the country) under the construction-industry relief package, 450 were from Lahore. In other words, 25% of the revenue poured into the construction industry after April 2020 was channelled into Lahore’s real estate market.
RECORDS SKYROCKETING GROWTH IN DEMAND FOR APARTMENT UNITS IN LAHORE
The real estate investment shift from plots to high-rises has also impacted the user behaviour. According to the website data, searches for apartment units in Lahore increased by over 50% between Jan 2020 and Jan 2022.
Our website users have shown an even more overwhelming response to the vertical projects we market and sell. As per our statistics, the number of leads for apartments in Lahore rose by over 100% during the same time period. This count is 4 times higher than the number of leads we received for horizontal projects in the city.
The on-ground situation is equally compelling. During the same time period, against every horizontal project in the city, 4 vertical projects were launched. According to independent statistics, the revenue poured into the vertical projects of the city is 4.5 times higher than that invested in the horizontal projects. This will eventually help protect the green spaces and agricultural land on the outskirts of Lahore.
Also, most of the newly introduced apartment complexes and mixed-use developments are located in well-established housing schemes and central parts of the city, providing safe, comfortable and refreshing urban arrangements to residents and hence rewarding investors.
Our readers must also know that the price tags of apartments in Lahore are currently much cheaper than those being sold in Karachi and Islamabad at the moment. The difference is rather too enticing to be ignored and that is precisely the reason why investment in vertical projects in Lahore continues to grow. Market analysts believe that an average apartment in Lahore is expected to see a surge in the sale price of a minimum of 50% during the medium term, which is expected to go up to 100% or even more in the long term.
So, if you too have been eyeing an apartment project in Lahore for investment purposes or personal use, there’s no reason to delay it. Be the early bird and get the maximum share by investing today.