It is not an easy task to meet the needs of the residential property market. With a mass of residential properties on the rise, understanding what house-hunters are looking for can be a challenging task for a developer. Previously the goal of a developer was only to satisfy the basic need of shelter; today, property-seekers are looking for the complete lifestyle package. From comfort to design, it is crucial for a developer to understand the exact needs of the potential homeowner in order to secure the sale.
An element of change that has occurred over the past 50 years is the size of the average home. From single-storey houses to luxury condominiums, architecture and housing needs in Sri Lanka have seen enormous amounts of change in the last five decades. Apartments were much less common in the mid ´60s and ´70s. Many Sri Lankans owned large estates or single-storey homes with substantial space. Living rooms were big and bedrooms were slightly smaller but overall the house was large in size. During this time, most people preferred to live in colonial homes passed down through generations.
In the early 1980s, Colombo began to develop more rapidly, with the population in the economic hub of Sri Lanka growing simultaneously. Housing schemes were built in areas such as Colombo 13, 14 and 15, which were closer to the key commercial districts in the city. As a result, smaller homes sprang up alongside large homes in the area. Apartments were introduced in the late 20th century and these have grown in size and design over the years. Today, many people are choosing vertical living, which affords them views of the skyline of Colombo and the west coast beach. Initially, apartments were constructed around the Colombo 4 and 6 areas which attracted people from all around the country. Home sizes ranged from 800 to 1200 square feet in order to accommodate many people in the most sought-after areas.
The luxury living or rather large living space concept has been brought back today by means of pricey condominiums. The Altair project, Clearpoint Residencies and the Destiny project are examples of the return to large living spaces, while still meeting the demand for high-rise living. With living areas alone averaging over 2000 square feet, these developments have been designed to suit the needs of the modern house-hunter.
Lamudi Sri Lanka Managing Director Hugh van der Kolff said, “Luxury living is a growing trend in the Colombo area with several projects in play. However, the majority of the people search for smaller homes within the margins of the city. At the same time renting is a common trend, with prices ranging from 15,000 to 25,000 rupees per month.”
Today, living in Colombo for the working-class group means smaller homes than usual. The average rent in Colombo 06, a sought-after location for average-sized apartments and houses, is up to 50,000 rupees. The majority of the populace is on the lookout for smaller living space in Colombo because this is more cost effective and convenient to travel to work and back. For this reason, micro apartments within the city centre would attract a large number of property-seekers while larger homes in the suburbs would attract commuters looking to purchase or lease.