Sri Lanka poised for growth across all real estate asset classes: JLL

June 15, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is poised for growth across all real estate asset classes on the back of increased private sector participation in infrastructure, positive government policies for improving foreign investments and initiatives undertaken for affordable housing, an international property consultancy said.

“There are challenges that need to be addressed, of course; Sri Lanka is prone to limited but notable downside risks, largely arising out of the currently subdued levels of Foreign Direct Investment and a high fiscal deficit,” said Sunil Subramanian, head of Transactions at Jones Lang LaSalle, Sri Lanka.

JLL in its new report titled ‘Sri Lanka – Land of Real Estate Opportunities’ said that they see strong demand for Grade A commercial office spaces. Coupled with the major growth potential over the medium-long term catalyzed by major infrastructure development projects.

The Firm expects this growth to be driven by the surging demand for residential and retail spaces over the coming years.

Sri Lanka’s ‘Grade A’ office space of about a million square feet is 95 percent occupied, Sunil Subramaniam, Head of Transactions at JLL in Colombo said.

“We see a shortage of demand with demand being driven mainly by domestic firms.”

Many companies which were in lower grade accommodations was moving to better quality spaces or consolidating, which was driving demand, he added.

The report further notes that Sri Lanka continues to outperform neighboring markets in terms of the ease of approvals required to obtain building permits and register real estate projects.

This is indicative of an ongoing concerted effort towards improving the country’s platform to begin truly competing on the international stage.

The full statement follows:

Colombo, June 14, 2017 – Global realestate consulting firm JLL has announced the publication of a comprehensive new report titled ‘Sri Lanka – Land of Real Estate Opportunities’. The publication addresses a strong demand for accessible, in-depth analysis into the domestic property market.

Through the new report, JLL aims to create a dialogue on the varied challenges which local and international investors face when engaging in real estate transactions in Sri Lanka, in addition to enumerating on the unprecedented scope of opportunity for valuable investments in the country’s rapidly developing property sector.

“The launch of our report coincides with Sri Lanka’s first wave of high-end real estate development projects in both the residential and commercial segments,” said Steven Mayes, Managing Director, JLL Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. “This marks a significant milestone for the domestic market, which we believe holds the potential to become one of the South Asian region’s most promising success stories.”

He added, “There are challenges that need to be addressed, of course; Sri Lanka is prone to limited but notable downside risks, largely arising out of the currently subdued levels of Foreign Direct Investment and a high fiscal deficit.

Nevertheless, we see strong demand for Grade A commercial office spaces. Coupled with the major growth potential over the medium-long term catalyzed by major infrastructure development projects like the Colombo International Financial City and the Western Region Megapolis, we believe that the overall outlook for the Sri Lankan real estate sector is strong.”

Based on comprehensive in-house market analysis, surveys and related data and trend analyses complied over the past five years, JLL anticipates strong, broad-based, double-digitgrowth spanning all sectors of the domestic realestate sector. The Firm expects this growth to be driven by the surging demand for residential and retail spaces over the coming years.

The report further notes that Sri Lanka continues to outperform neighboring markets in terms of the ease of approvals required to obtain building permits and register real estate projects. This is indicative of an ongoing concerted effort towards improving the country’s platform to begin truly competing on the international stage.

Notably, the report features Sri Lanka’s debut onto the JLL Global Real Estate Transparency Index at a rank of 69 out of 109 international markets. The ranking quantifies transparency based on 139 variables relating to transaction processes, regulatory and legal frameworks, corporate governance, performance measurement and data availability, with higher real estate transparency being associated with stronger investor and corporate real estate activity.