- Homeowner segment considers property and real estate as a steady and risk-free investment option
- Developers urge govt. to implement investor-friendly policies to attract more foreign interest
By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
Sri Lanka’s condominium sector is observed to be gradually moving towards a positive growth trajectory, after a few months of slowdown and is witnessing fresh interest from the homeowner market segment.
Condominium Developers Association of Sri Lanka (CDASL) President Suresh Rajendra said that the market prospects are beginning to look better with the economy having reopened, following the closure due to the pandemic.
“We have gone through a bit of a hard time but we can now see the market turning around. It is encouraging to note some level of interest coming back into the market. We are seeing lots of inquiries coming in, especially in the homeowner segment,” Rajendra told Mirror Business.
According to him, the renewed interest is due to the target market perceiving the property and real estate segment as a steady and risk-free investment option.
“It will take a little more time to bring itself back to where it was but the condominium sector is definitely turning around,” said Rajendra.
However, while the homeowner market, also the base market, has performed well over the years, the segment witnessed a slowdown, although the interest in the condominiums remained high.
Rajendra stressed this was largely due to the affordability issue and not due to the impacts stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Meanwhile, with regard to interest from foreign buyers in the local condominium segment, Rajendra said that this segment, which is accounted mostly by Sri Lankan expatriates, is too seeing some form of upturn but would take longer to recover.
“The foreign buyer segment has always been an active market and it will come back but at the moment, it has slowed down. We need to give them more encouragement and incentives to make sure they come back,” said Rajendra.
To improve the recovery pace, he suggested the need for the government to look at implementing certain proposals, such as offering resident visas for apartment owners, at the earliest.
“Some of the old policies of the government that have been shelved, instead of being implemented, will definitely create an impact in the market. This will give the necessary impetus to help the economy. We need more efforts to help out the inventor market,” he added.
During the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, the CDASL reached out to the government, seeking support and relief to the property development and construction sector, in view of the impact from the pandemic.
It warned that the cascading effect of suspension of development projects would ripple through the economy at multiple levels, as banks, personal investments of homebuyers and hundreds of thousands of jobs would be at risk.
The association called for clear guidelines to be issued to banks and the financial sector on preferential interest rates and loan moratoriums, among others.