In 2008 a new business code was implied by RAJUK, and all developments were in effect right away based on the FAR rules. In that building code, the only missing string was the height of the building which I presume to be wrong in 2021. When we look into China’s development period over the last 40 years, we notice two things; the wide 8-16 lane roads and the high rise buildings that are over 100 storied. The question is how a high-rise building contributes to economic growth? There are many reasons and among them, I would like to point out only three; firstly, Dhaka has limited land and high rise buildings can accommodate many offices and residents, and within the periphery of the infrastructures, a lot of other businesses grow simultaneously, poverty gets reduced and create more employment opportunities; secondly, we can reduce city expansion cost and save agricultural land and water bodies; thirdly, it is a common mindset of the world that high rise buildings are icons for a strong economy, so this mindset drives the people towards progress. We definitely have to impose some sort of rules for commercial buildings that none of them can be less than 50-100 storied. I am sure the developer companies will manage the large land to develop such buildings. On the other hand, housing accommodation and developments by filling water bodies have to be stopped and housing solutions should be accommodated through larger multi-storied residential buildings. Back in 70’s Dhaka had more water bodies and greens than what we have now. If we look into other countries like Korea, Japan, UAE, and Malaysia, we notice many high-rise buildings have been erected at a large scale, and their economy grew at a tremendous pace. The Empire State Building is 102 storied and it was built in 1931. 

 

Smaller flats are in high demand in the ever-busiest corporate society of Dhaka. But the supply of this kind of smaller flats is not on the development list by the developer companies. Why? Because the developer companies are driven by their own sales force, having a little knowledge about the market demand, and selling larger flats require fewer potential leads. Assuming the development cost for a residential building at BDT 2200 per set and the land area is 40 katha, and the building is 30 storied and the total built-up area is 172,800 sft, and the land cost is BDT 462 per sft, a 600 sft studio apartment would have cost BDT 17 Lacs to BDT 18 Lacs only. A working person living in the city either by himself or with his wife could have owned a flat with a bank finance facility for a monthly installment of BDT 23,000 for 10 years period. Holy mother of God!! 18 lakhs for a flat in the middle of Dhaka!! Gorgeous. The tycoons of the real estate sector might have already thought about it, but I don’t see any signs. 

 

The definition of having wealth has been interpreted to us in a different way for the last two years. The Covid-19 pandemic taught us the necessity of having a flat in Dhaka. Many of us had to leave Dhaka for overly priced rent in different areas. Many had to leave as they lost the sharing facility of the apartment and it had gone beyond their affordability. Being jobless and being homeless are two different bad events in anyone’s life, but the worst is losing both at the same time. In only India, more than 230,000 suicides were recorded who had lost both for the pandemic. Having our own home is now the most craving demand for us, to ensure even if we lost our jobs, we will be able to feed ourselves by selling groceries on a moving cart. Assuming a couple who are employed and earning 40K in a month altogether, and even they can have a 600sft flat which would cost them 23K every month.

 

We have motivational speakers all around the country, and these motivational speakers lost their own motivation when their audience had no money to spend on their lectures. They could not just motivate those who lost their jobs or home. Why? Because only the earning person should be more motivated to earn more!! I hope everybody understands my feelings here. The only motivating factor for the effect was then “lock-down”. They hoped everything will be back in place again. If anyone researches the search keywords for top ranking property portal, then “30 lakh taka flat for sale” and “installment flat sale” will be on top of the list which determines my statement is not false.

 

The Real Estate market had a first spike in Bangladesh in early 2006 and lasted till 2009 and we have witnessed the second spike in 2015 which lasted around 3 years till 2018. We are going to see another spike in the coming years and I assume it from 2022 to 2025. Generation shift, scarcity of land, a new opportunity in the cost-effective living will determine the new spike. [to be continued……]




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