While there was a more “relaxed” attitude among the citizens, real-estate, overall, maintained government-directed health and safety regulations
Since March 2020, most industries have seen massive changes in how the markets operate, thus adopting new strategies to cater to the public and keep businesses afloat. The real-estate industry in Bangladesh has also encountered and adapted to drastic shifts in demand since the pandemic. Bproperty, the country’s sole property solution provider, gives us an insight on how the market has changed, and what trends have been observed recently.
Similar to last year, a strict lockdown was enforced during the months of April and May. While there was a more “relaxed” attitude among the citizens, real-estate, overall, maintained government-directed health and safety regulations .
In terms of demand, in the first five months of 2021, Bproperty saw around 18.2% more housing demand Year-Over-Year. However, the demand is less so than it was during the third quarter of 2020 -- just after the lockdown was lifted last year. The record increase in real-estate activity can be attributed to a number of favourable regulations introduced last year, but it was not possible to capitalize on them until after the lift.
After things settled considerably during the fourth quarter of last year, housing demand experienced some slowdown, but was seen to be gaining momentum again during the first quarter of this year. The enforcement of another lockdown in April has derailed some of that momentum as, compared to the first two months of 2021, there was about 34% less housing demand in April and May.
Transactions of affordable housing have increased since last year. Compared to last year’s Jan-May period, 12.4% more properties were sold that are priced within Tk1 crore, while 9% more properties were sold that are priced within Tk50 lac. Last year, in total over 55% of the properties sold did not exceed Tk1 crore, and this year that percentage already stands at about 64%.
As Bangladesh’s only property solutions provider, Bproperty caters to people from all walks of life -- regardless of age, gender, socioeconomic status, marital status, or religion. They have had a good mix of people of varying ages and genders, from young professionals who just started their careers, to those who are older and looking to secure their post-retirement futures.
In general, the median of Bproperty’s clients’ age falls in the 30 to 40 age demographic, but there is also an influx of property requests from the more “tech-savvy” children of older clients . According to their data, the majority of Bproperty website users (40.6%) are aged between 18 and 24, while 28% of users are between the ages of 25 and 34. In addition, 70.5% of the visitors tend to be male.
Regardless of Dhaka’s condition, the capital city is the focal point of the nation. It is the administrative hub and the alpha and the omega, according to many people’s perceptions. According to some estimates, the population growth rate of Dhaka has been hovering around 3.5% to 3.6% for the last few years.
Despite this growth, the city hasn’t grown, and there is a severe lack of housing -- not to mention affordable options. While there are plans to expand the city eastward towards Purbachal, that is still an ongoing process. Moreover, even though the latest draft of the DAP plans to expand the Dhaka metropolitan area, decentralization is still not possible. As per Bproperty data, the ratio between demand and supply of housing in Dhaka is about 9:1. So, limited supply coupled with an overwhelming demand results in an increase in property prices.
Shifts in preferences
There has been limited change in housing choices so far in the past few years. The full effect of the pandemic is yet to be properly realized. Many real estate consumers have, however, opted for more affordable housing options in recent times, with a significant number of them preferring areas such as Uttara where they can be more secluded from the usual hustle and bustle of Dhaka.
In lieu of affordable housing choices, people have been looking for flats on the smaller side -- which is also the result of the changing family dynamics of modern times. Overall, we’ve seen the 1,000-1,500 square feet range to be the most desirable property size in the last few years.