THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, LAHORE, 26th SEPTEMBER 2013: For people planning to buy a piece of land in Lahore either as a low-cost investment or to meet their housing needs, some southern parts of the city are offering what they really want.
This opportunity comes at a time when it is becoming nearly impossible for middle-income people to think of buying a small chunk of land in eastern parts of the city.
By low cost, it doesn’t mean that people will be able to purchase residential land at the price of farmland and enjoy facilities that residents of other societies are receiving. It means that an average family can dream of a house in the south in the hope of further infrastructural development in the near future.
The southern part of the city has some excellent housing schemes such as Johar Town, Valencia, Wapda Town, Izmir Town, EME Society, Bahria Town and others.
Most of the societies along the Canal Bank adjacent to Multan Road have almost delivered what they offered and the only artery left in this part with a potential to provide quality lifestyle is Raiwind Road, starting from Thokar Niaz Baig, which was once considered the last point of Lahore, up to Raiwind City.
The road stretches over 23 kilometres and is a dual carriageway, but it is not in good condition despite the residence of Sharif brothers there. More than a dozen housing societies have already established their infrastructure, of which few are for the elite, offering high-quality luxury lifestyle including the Lake City. Among others, Bahria Town is offering Bahria Orchard and upcoming project, Green Valley.
Along all these societies, some developers have come up with small housing schemes offering plots of five marla in the range of Rs1 to Rs1.5 million. In Bahria Orchard, five-marla plots are being sold for Rs1 to Rs2 million. In contrast, the average price of a five-marla plot in the Defence Housing Authority (eastern part of Lahore) has crossed Rs5 million.
“This is the only artery left along Ferozepur Road to some extent, where further development can take place and allow the Lahore city to expand,” said Mian Talat, Chief Executive Officer of Talat Enterprises, a real estate firm.
All other parts of the city have already been developed and there is hardly any capacity left for growth, he added.
There are several reasons why real estate gurus think of Raiwind Road as the next potential real estate and business hub. The main reason is that the palatial house of the Sharif brothers is situated in Raiwind. Second, industrial estates and clusters, universities and colleges are close to this road.
Apart from these, nearly all the land adjacent to Raiwind Road has been purchased by developers – many have already launched their schemes and others will follow soon.
Another important factor is that the Lahore Ring Road will cross this thoroughfare near Adda Plot (near Raiwind palace), and once connected the distance to the eastern part of the city will come down to a few minutes compared to more than one hour that it now takes. And lastly, there is a plan to make Raiwind Road at least a six-lane dual carriageway.
Experts believe all this development should take place in this area in two to three years, following which the area will become one of the most expensive ones in the city for living and doing business.
Prices have already started increasing in a few societies, in which Bahria Orchard is on top. This could affect prices in other societies as well. Experts hope that low-cost investment can still benefit people for a couple of years, but for this they have to take investment decisions swiftly.