Controversy brings land price down

Bahria Town
Bahria Town (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ISLAMABAD, June 12: As the controversy involving real estate tycoon Malik Riaz and Dr Arsalan Iftikhar took new turn on Tuesday, the cost of plots in almost all Bahria Town (BT) projects in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad has declined by over 20 per cent.

Owners of the plots and real estate dealers while talking to Dawn said the Supreme Court’s suo motu notice in the case had sent a wave of unrest among hundreds of owners bringing the sale and purchase of the plots in its new schemes to a halt.

The projects that hit by the controversy included Bahria Enclave in Zone IV, Islamabad and its phases No-7, 8 and 9 in Rawalpindi.

“Bahria Enclave has been the worst affected,” said a real estate developer Shafiqur Rehman.
He said the price of 1 kanal (500 sq yard) plot there has declined to Rs4 million to Rs4.2 million against its previous price of Rs6 million before the crisis.

Similarly, the price of 10 marla (250 sq yard) plot in the same scheme has dropped to Rs2 million to Rs2.2 million against its previous price of Rs3 million.

The present price of 5 marla (125 sq yard) in the scheme is said to be Rs0.8 million to Rs1 million against its previous rate of Rs1.5 million.

Another property dealer Malik Asad said the management of BT had stopped sale of its apartment in Bahria Enclave due to poor response of buyers. “Not a single apartment has been booked since the crisis surfaced,” he said.

Sources in the Capital Development Authority (CDA) said the prices of plots in Bahria Enclave would further decline because some of the ‘victims’ of alleged land grabbing had moved the apex court.

Another real estate builder Rao Arif said the crisis would further affect real estate market not in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad but in the whole country.

Some of plots owners in BT schemes in Rawalpindi told Dawn that the cost of their plot had declined by Rs0.5 million within last two to three days.

“I purchased a plot in Bahria Town phase-7 last year at a cost of Rs3.5 million but now its rate has com down to Rs2.5 million to Rs3 million,” said Dabir Ali, an owner of a 10 marla plot.

He said he wanted to sell his plot because he urgently needed money but there was no buyer in the market.

A property dealer in BT Rawalpindi Malik Haseeb said the price of the property in the schemes would further decline as many people whose lands were allegedly grabbed by Malik Riaz would go to the court one by one which would affect the BT schemes.