Online property searches in Colombo up 28-pct in Q1: Lamudi

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May 02, 2017 (LBO) – Property portal Lamudi’s real estate market report on Sri Lanka says that there is a 28 percent increase in searches for property in Colombo in the first quarter of 2017 against the same period last year.

Between 2014 and 2015, data from Lamudi showed a 20 percent increase in searches for property in Colombo.

Data further shows that Colombo is five times more popular than Gampaha and ten times more in demand than Kandy.

The Lamudi market report says most locals are aiming for Colombo’s suburbs at the moment because the suburbs tend to command lower prices while foreign investors are most likely to invest in apartments in key locations such as central Colombo and Kandy.

Lamudi currently has 9,420 property listings covering the whole island.

Previous data from Lamudi indicates that 45 to 50 percent of Sri Lanka’s property searches were conducted by people aged between 25 and 34.

“These days, young professionals in larger cities, such as Colombo, are the most likely to purchase an apartment in Sri Lanka,” Lamudi market report showed.

Apartment living was not a concept that was familiar to most Sri Lankans until recently.
It seems that living habits are changing with vertical living becoming the norm as the country becomes increasingly developed.

“A high quality mid-range apartment in Colombo is likely to cost between LKR 10 million and LKR 30 million.”

As per Lamudi’s real estate agent survey 2017, luxury apartments are transforming Colombo’s skyline and by 2018, the number of luxury apartments in Sri Lanka is expected to reach 6,000.

With the change in the law, foreign nationals wishing to buy land can become 49 percent shareholders of a leasehold and foreigners used only to be allowed to own 25 percent of this land.

Investors from abroad now have the opportunity to apply for a freehold arrangement, but only after 20 years of ownership under a leasehold agreement.

In many emerging markets, it is not possible for immigrants to apply for freehold at all.

Foreign investors can now purchase a home with a leasehold of up to 99 years with a minimal tax fee.

Read full report here.