Colombo outskirts better for real estate investment: Study

Tuesday, 2 May 2017 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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To the casual observer the growing demand for high-rise apartment projects – or for vertical living, as sometimes called – is already evident from the spate of construction projects altering the skyline of Colombo and more recently, its immediate surroundings.

A study published by Jones Lang LaSalle, confirms this notion.

“Due to increase in price within Colombo city, a rising percentage of the working population is moving to the suburbs, which are much cheaper in comparison. A house in the bordering areas of the city is 26% cheaper than a similar house in the city centre. These clear economic advantages predict a shift toward demand for housing on the outskirts of the city limits,” says the report ‘Real Estate in Sri Lanka – Prospects and Potential – Translating Economic Growth into Real Estate Developments in Colombo’. It further states, “Sri Jayewardene Kotte, witnessed relocation of major administrative offices and residences leading to a further spurt in real estate activity … it is fast becoming a retail and residential (high and middle-income) destination.”

Rajagiriya is a classic case in point. Located between the rapidly developing Battaramulla/ Kotte and the always-in-demand Colombo, land prices in Rajagiriya has, curiously, not kept pace with its flashier neighbours.

The rise in real estate values in both Colombo and Kotte has suddenly made land in Rajagiriya, situated on the immediate eastern border of Colombo cheap in comparison.

One of the crucial areas identified by the Kotte city development plan 2008-2020, Rajagiriya is identified as a mixed development zone with both residential and commercial values and is recognised as one of the most transit areas of the capital. The flyover, under construction right now designed by the RDA to blend in with city architecture, attempts to address this critical situation.

One company that has seen the mismatch of land prices to demand in Rajagiriya and moved swiftly to exploit the opportunity is Millennium Housing Developers PLC. (MHD) 

Having ascertained that demand for apartments priced around Rs. 25-35 m is growing faster than in other price bands, especially for those on the city’s border, MHD raced ahead securing properties at Edmonton Road, Kirulapana, then Nawala Road, Narahenpita (Colombo 05) and now at 504, Rajagiriya Road, Rajagiriya.

Location wise, the Green Heights at 504 Rajagiriya is unique due to its situation at the highest point in Colombo, a fact not lost to the company or its customers since a good view is paramount in selection of a location by all.

MHD’s outlook on luxury apartment in the outskirts is that customers can get greater value in terms of living style and standards, simply because the developer’s outlay on land is lower here than in Colombo; giving customers a much shorter commute and a higher standard of luxury at a lower price.