Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Are Apartment Developers Moving to the Suburbs?

With Colombo city turning into a business hub more than a residential area, recent studies of LankaPropertyWeb (LPW) show that apartment developers are now exploring the suburbs to cater to the growing interest for vertical living amongst the locals. The numerous developments taking place in the main city resulting in diminishing space amongst houses for rent in Colombo and reducing demand for houses for sale in Colombo has, in fact, contributed to this interest largely. The rising population in the country and the changing lifestyles of people has also further influenced the number of apartments for rent and condominium construction taking place in the city. However, over the years such constructions taking place within the inner city of Colombo (i.e. Colombo 1-15), has continued to decrease in number.

Condominium projects from 2014 - 2019

According to the data gathered by the Condominium Management Authority (CMA), from 2014 to 2016 there is an increase in condominiums in Colombo. But from 2017 onwards an obvious reduction is seen. Apartment constructions in the other districts are following a downward slope as well. However, in the greater Colombo areas like Sri Jayawardena Pura Kotte, Mount Lavinia, Rajagiriya, etc. that exclude Colombo 1-15, a continuous rise in complex constructions has been witnessed. 

Commenting on this Daham Gunaratna, Managing Director of LankaPropertyWeb says "The main reason developers are moving out of Colombo could be the cost of construction in Colombo (mainly driven by high land value) and thus the price of apartments going up."

The opening of Sethsiripaya in Battaramulla by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksha in 2012, brought about plans to shift government offices into the administrative hub of Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte while leaving Colombo city for business affairs. As a result, now the 13 story building houses the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Ministry of Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Higher Education and Highways, etc. This has brought numerous improvements in terms of administration and service to the public.

Many development projects have also been directed towards uplifting the standard and infrastructure in the greater Colombo areas and the Western region on the whole. Introduction of the Western Region Master Plan 2030 that includes the construction of the Light Rail Transit system from Malabe to Fort with 16 stations, the Tech City Development Project directed in Malabe, Athurugiriya, Kaduwela and Homagama areas, creation of the Airport Business City, the BIA Gateway Project are some constructions expected to take place within the next ten years.

The Kottawa - Makumbura Multi-Modal Transport Hub which was opened in April of this year to the public, is one other development project that was taken up to improve the transport system in the greater Colombo areas.

Price changes in land in the greater Colombo areas 2018 - 2019

The data of CMA on land price changes show that over the quarters of the past year and this year, the changes in land prices are higher in the greater Colombo areas of Rajagiriya, Nawala, Kalubowila, and Dehiwala. Meanwhile, there is an evident hike in land for sale in Colombo 3, given the many developments taking place. However, the prices of the other areas of Colombo aren’t rising as high as the greater Colombo areas. 
Comparing this rise in land prices in greater Colombo with the increasing condominium constructions in these areas, the interest of condominium developers is justified quite obviously.

 Floor area in condominiums from 2014 -2019 

A reducing floor area space amongst apartments in Colombo and an increase of it in the greater Colombo areas shows that the latter are turning out to be more spacious than those in the main city.

Many established and recognized private universities are also increasing in number in the greater Colombo areas. This has created an access to education in these areas equally if not more available in quality and standard as the main city of Colombo.

Improvements in infrastructure, transport facilities, education and many more taking place in the greater Colombo areas, has developers now realizing the opportunities available for them. As a result, an increase in condominium construction in the greater Colombo areas is speculated within the near future!

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Holiday Central of Sri Lanka

Situated 6000 metres above sea level, the district of Nuwara Eliya is the holiday capital of the country. Where most call the little England , Every year during the month of April it is swarmed with happy and gay holiday goers, both locals and internationals, that it is impossible find accommodation in the holiday Capital   Classified as a highland climate, it is virtually impossible to believe that 180 kilometres from the heat and humidity of Colombo exists a Little England with one of the greatest climates in the country. During the month of April, the whole place bursts into colour with beautiful flowers and holiday goers clad in every colour under the sun. It is a beautiful place all year round and a great place to settle into.

Buying Land in Nuwara Eliya

A land from this hilly terrain is an investment from which you can reap extremely good benefits. A plot from here is good for several purposes such as for developments, agriculture, housing holiday and many more. The most important thing though is to ensure that the land is in a place that suits your purpose mainly for holiday mood and relaxation  If you are planning to convert the plot into an agricultural land it is not the best idea to get it from the heart of the city. In this manner, you need to ensure that the land you buy is in a location that suits your purpose as well. If for example, you are going to build a house on the plot, you can maybe take your architect along with you when you go for inspections in order to get a professional assessment.  A land perch ranges between 150,000 LKR minimum to a maximum of 3,700,000 LKR with an average perch price of 1,6094,00. There is a hike in perch prices in 2019 compared to 2018.

Buying an Apartment in Nuwara Eliya

Little do most people know that there are apartments in the sleepy tea country of Nuwara Eliya. The difference however is that the apartments here are not skyscrapers. Most of them have been built in such a way so as not to mar the beautiful skyline of the region. For those who are looking for a comfortable, cosy place to settle down, this region is the ideal answer. While being charmingly beautiful in an English post card manner, the region also offers some of the best and well-appointed apartments in the country. Buying a flat in this region is one of the best decisions that you can make in terms of investments. 

One thing you should be concerned about when buying in Nuwara Eliya is about heat insulation. Therefore make sure that you check all the windows and any other openings of your flat so that it minimizes heat loss during the cold nights. If there are any, make sure that they are taken care of before you move in. The last thing you would want would be to freeze in the middle of the night simply because you failed to notice that one crack in the window panes!

Finding a Property for Sale in Nuwara Eliya

This zone is a place where the property market used to be high-end, but has now come to be more affordable and competitive. About a century ago, the population of this hilltop paradise comprised of British government officials and the local wealthy aristocrats. The estate workers lived in slums or did not have a permanent type of dwelling at the time. The dwellings and land properties (for there were no apartment complexes back in the day) were expensive and could be afforded only by the rich and elitein the country. Today however, looking at this region, you can find assets of all sorts. Be it a house, an apartment, a land or a commercial property, an average person can afford to buy without selling a kidney in the process. The best thing here is that there are enough types of properties offered at a variety of prices to suit everybody’s needs.

Nuwara Eliya: Beyond the Tourism
Tourism has made its claims on the picturesque region of Nuwara Eliya. If you simply look around you will notice the tour guides, locals and foreigners following them dazed eyed and awed. But there is much more to this region than the clich├ęd tourist sites. One of the best ways to do so is to have a local contact person there, who is willing to take you through a day in this region as a day tour, with no dilutions or illusions. The next time you visit this region, try to look beyond the tourism into the lives of the everyday man from here. Instead of taking a chauffeur driven hotel vehicle, try taking a bus down a winding hilly road. Try eating a local meal at a native’s house instead of a five star buffet at a hotel. Another enjoyable thing to do in this region will be to try your hand at tea plucking, working at a strawberry field or one of the extensive vegetable plantations. Hospitality –You can never get too many hotels, guest houses or holiday homes in this region. Almost all them are fully occupied during the peak season which starts each April and it is in dire need of more places to accommodate all the people who visit during the season. 

As per the above graph there is a steady growth in hotels compared to guest houses however the lower price ranges have a big demand for guest houses.

Monday, 1 April 2019

LankaPropertyWeb Records Growth And Success – 2018 In Review

LankaPropertyWeb ‘s success, from humble beginnings as a startup in 2007, to be the leading real estate platform in Sri Lanka, can be attributed to several milestones that have been hit in the last few years.

Sri Lanka’s leading real estate website, LankaPropertyWeb.com, recorded another successful year in 2018, showing an extraordinary growth in traffic and other vital metrics to the website. Buoyed by the demand for rentals, new developments and sales, the website has recorded a significant increase in the number of users, visits, duration of the visit and most importantly, in the number of leads generated to advertisers and closed sales and lets. 
2018 saw LankaPropertyWeb grow drastically and achieve some significant milestones. LankaPropertyWeb won the award for Best Digital Integrated Campaign at the SLT Zero One Awards. The major accomplishment marks the acquisition of the country’s no.2 property portal lamudi.lk, firmly establishing the company as the dominant portal in the country. The acquisition includes the lamudi.lk domain and all its listings, plus the local operations of Lamudi Sri Lanka, making LankaPropertyWeb is Sri Lanka’s number 1 & dominant property website.
With a revenue growth of 61% compared to 2017 the company has seen a rise in the number of advertisers to 55%. The total number of users saw a growth of 20% and there was a substantial increase in mobile users as well which in the current real estate market is a crucial factor. In short, the duration of a visit increases as the website can offer more options and choices for the users to browse and select from. It is also proof that the users have shown a keen interest on the properties advertised.
The figures for 2018 shows that not only does the website bring in the visitors, but it also delivers on the vitals that are important for both sellers and landlords, by generating leads and providing leads resulting in a majority of advertisers managing to sell or rent the properties.” stated Daham Gunaratna, Managing Director of Lanka Property Web.
Leveraging technology to stay ahead in the business, LankaPropertyWeb offers its services to a clientele that was not yet tapped into in 2007 – the non-newspaper readers, the people constantly on the go, and foreigners and expats who were exploring investing in Sri Lanka, who would not have otherwise had visibility of the investment opportunities in the country.
Excelling in professionalism, integrity and exceptional service in delivering the most astounding standard of solutions tailored to your needs and objectives has contributed to Lanka Property Web’s success throughout the years, while it strives to bring in transparency and trust in to the industry and promote the country as an investment destination to global investors. Established in 2007 the company is Sri Lanka’s most visited property website with the most number of property listings.
LankaPropertyWeb recently held Sri Lanka’s flagship real estate event of the year, the Lanka Property Show 2019, which concluded successfully, drawing praise from both exhibitors and visitors and was held on the 9th and 10th of February at the Kingsbury Hotel. The event was the largest property show in the country with 30 stalls being occupied exhibitors. Also, this year’s show featured a diversified set of exhibitors, with house builders, banks, Solar providers and Hoke Internet solution providers also participating at the show.
In addition to offering a wide range of property options, for sale or rent, the site also offers additional property-related services and information. These include a House Price Index, the tracking of the average property prices in Sri Lanka and guides and tools such as a Mortgage calculator and guides to locals and foreigners on navigating Sri Lanka’s property related legal framework.  
With several property-related events and product launches planned for 2019/20, including hosting the Lanka Property show for the fifth time, an event in Australia, Lanka Property Web is anticipating continued growth of the sector. The company will continue to improve its technology and services to the users, helping them at each step of their property buying and selling process and by doing so, keep them abreast of the changing trends in the sector in 2019.  

Friday, 22 March 2019

15% VAT on Apartment sales to come in to affect from 1st April 2019

15% VAT on Apartment sales will come in to affect from 1st of April 2019, according to the government Gazette issued 16th of August 2018, with the title 'VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 25 OF 2018'.

According to the Finance Ministry sources, as it stands, if the Sales & Purchase Agreement (SPA) is signed before the 1st of April 2019, the buyer is not liable to pay VAT, even for payments made after this date. They however also said that this is still under discussion and might change in future.

The VAT exemption only applies if all units in the apartment project is under LKR 15 million; which would eliminate most of the apartments for sale in and around Colombo.

VAT is also exempted if you're buying the property from a private seller (owner) in the secondary market (re-sale), unless the property is owned by a VAT registered company.

More details >>

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Malabe- Sri Lanka’s Fastest Growing Residential & IT hub

Malabe is a suburb of the greater Colombo area, in the Colombo district. A predominantly residential area Malabe is now rapidly expanding into an information technology and higher education hub in the Greater Colombo area. Malabe lies in close proximity to both Colombo, the financial capital of Sri Lanka and Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte, the administrative capital hence the large residential population

Part of the ancient Sri Lankan Kingdom of Kotte during the 15th Century and is believed to encompass the greater part of the now unidentifiable Mulleriya Basin which was a lush wetland where the Battle of Mulleriyawa between the Portugese and the Sinhalese kingdom took place resulting in an annihilation of the Portuguese forces at the hands of King Rajasingha.


Malabe has become part of the upscale residential boom of the Jayewardenepura Kotte area during the past decade. Placed in a central position Malabe offers easy access to Colombo via Rajagiriya, direct access to the Neighboring administrative capital, Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte, to other financial hubs such as Nugegoda and Maharagama, adjacent residential hubs of Pelawatta and Thalawathugoda, easy access to Kelaniya, and Orugodawatta via the Low-Level Road which contains most of the shipping container yards in Colombo. Also Malabe is just adjacent to the Balarama Free Trade Zone home to many industrial
manufacturing facilities but proximity is so that the factories have no effect on the residents of the area.With the Construction of the Southern Highway and the Outer Circular Highway which has two exits and entrances located in and around Malabe, it has become one of the main routes taken by motorists coming through Galle and Matara to get to Colombo. The Outer Circular Highway also offers easy access to Ragama and Gampaha financial hubs.

Shopping and Amenities

Branches of all major department stores (ODEL, Cool Planet), convenient stores (Cargills Food City, Keells Super), pharmacies, clothing chains (ASP), fast food restaurants (Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Burger King), Upscale Restaurants (Silk Route, Lemongrass) banks (BOC, Commercial Bank, Sampath Bank, Peoples’ Bank, NSB, NTB, Standard Chartered Bank) and filling stations (Ceypetco) are all found in the city center along with a weekly public market. All daily necessities can be obtained with a single visit to the city. Parking for vehicles are also ample in the city.

Schools and Higher education
Malabe has numerous Primary and secondary education institutions with many primary and secondary government schools such as the Malabe Boys School and the Rahula Balika Vidyalaya as well as the Horizon International College
Higher educational institutions include the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) & Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College (CINEC)


Main Healthcare provider for the area is the Government Teaching Hospital located on the Chandrika Kumarathunga Mawatha, The Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital. Malabe also has numerous private dispensaries and laboratories

Residential Value
Over the past decade Malabe has become one of the most sought after residential suburbs in the Greater Colombo area. With the rapid development of the roadways in the area and the proximity to major financial and administrative hubs of Sri Lanka the land value is as competitive as ever now. According LankaPropertyWeb, the Malabe house for sale prices for an average 3-bedroom house range from 22million where as it was 20million last year. The land for sale in Malabe prices are also on the rise with 800,00 per perch comparing to the price tag of 600,000 previous year.

Malabe as a center point in the suburban areas has a complete public transportation system with major bus routes (177, 993, 336) going across or beginning from the center of the   and some buses connecting Malabe to the Central Bus Terminal in Fort, Colombo. The road that leads to Colombo which is only 14km away via Rajagiriya to Borella junction is also one of the few roads in Colombo to have the Bus Priority Lane. The government plans to implement a light passenger railway connecting Malabe to Colombo soon as well. Under the MegaPolis Development Project undertaken by the government a light commuter train which will run above ground parallel to the Rajagiriya main road is planned to be built from Malabe to Borella thus reducing the traffic and making access to Colombo more commuter friendly. Already the feasibility studies are underway, and the designs have been put forward for consideration.
The government is  planning to implement a light passenger railway connecting Malabe to Colombo in the near future as well. Under the MegaPolis Development Project undertaken by the government will commence construction in early 2018 is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021. The total distance covered will be 21 kilometers from Malabe to Fort. Average travel time will be cut down to roughly 40minutes from Malabe to Fort with trains being operated every 4 minutes during the peak hours in the morning and afternoon. The light commuter train which will run above ground parallel to the Rajagiriya main road thus reducing the traffic and making access to Colombo more commuter friendly. Stations will be put in place at Fort Station, Western Province Transport Centre, St. Joseph’s College, National Hospital, Borella, Cotta Road, Welikada, Rajagiriya, Sethsiripaya, Battaramulla, Palan Thuna, Robert Gunawardana Mawatha, Lumbini Temple, Talahena, Malabe, and the IT Park. This will be the 1st phase of a larger network which will extend to Homagama, Kelaniya and Moratuwa. Already the feasibility studies are underway and the designs have been put forward for consideration.

Places of Worship
Malabe is home to a multi ethnic multi religious populous with the majority being Buddhist. Many places of worship can be found around the city including the Mahamewna Temple which is located in Pittugala and the Historic Korathota Temple. Malabe is also home to many churches kovil’s and mosques.

Employment Opportunities
Malabe has been proposed as the Information Technology Hub as per the Mega Polis Development Project of the government. Already many reputed IT companies, including the Millennium IT owned by the London Stock Exchange have established their head office in Malabe, with many more companies planning use Malabe as their home base. This brings about a golden opportunity for present and potential employees of these companies choose Malabe as their place of residence due to the immense convenience of having a very small commute to the workplace daily.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Sri Lanka – Asia’s Next Property Hotspot?

With land and house prices seeing unprecedented appreciation in 2017 alone, Sri Lanka has emerged as Asia’s new destination for attractive real estate returns with its prime beachfront land, seaside condos, high-end luxury serviced apartments and more.

From Holiday Destination to Property Hotspot Location

Given the uncertainty of Brexit and other global developments coupled with a slowdown in traditional property markets i.e. Malaysia, Singapore and China, the Indian Ocean island paradise of Sri Lanka has become the new “sexy” destination for property investors. Over the years, Sri Lanka has established a track record for handsome returns and high rental yields while providing investors the best of price, location and property choices.

Real Estate – Really Good Returns
Real estate has proven over time to be a sound asset class for capital preservation and wealth creation. Its tangible, physical nature gives investors a solid assurance over paper assets while rental allow for passive income. Financing can be secured to facilitate ownership. Land can be developed while refurbishments to completed homes will yield better capital returns ranging 20%-200%.
In Sri Lanka, real estate has far outperformed any other asset class since 2014. .

Source: Candor Group
According to research by Candor Group, properties in Sri Lanka, (specifically in the Colombo city area) have yielded better returns than any other investment class.

Right Place, Right Time – At the Epicentre of Dynamic Growth

The end of the civil war in 2009 marked a “renaissance” for the island. Supported by massive rebuilding, surging tourism and increased foreign investor confidence, according to the World Bank, Sri Lanka’s growth is set to accelerate to 5.1% by 2019. GDP per capita rose from US$2,819 to US$3,835 – by 36% from 2010-2016. Based on this trend, the World Bank could soon classify Sri Lanka as an “upper middle-income country” on par with Malaysia, Thailand, Maldives and Brazil.

Mega infrastructure projects are also having a multiplier effect on local real estate values. These include the Hambantota Port, the Colombo Southport construction as well as works for an additional terminal at Bandaranaike International Airport. The latter will see passenger capacity expand 150% to 15 million from its current six million.
The US$3 billion Northern Expressway and other road projects will open up new opportunities while enhancing connectivity and accessibility nationwide.

Source: Colombo Port City

 ‘Investment Opportunities Abound In 20-30 Year Growth Market”

An indication of the sterling growth is evident in the rise of property values in recent years. Leading property website LankaPropertyWeb.com’s House Price Index shows that average apartment prices in Colombo (for a 3-bed) have appreciated 6.2% in 2017 and land prices even higher based on asking price values. An apartment will see rental yields of 6-8% typically.
In comparison to real estate, other investment options have been slow or unexciting.  

Leverage on Local Knowledge & Insight to Start Investing Successfully

Rather than go it alone, get the best of local knowledge and insight to reap profitable rewards from Sri Lanka’s property boom (and other investment options) at the ‘Investor Forum Sri Lanka’ on 30th August held at Kingsbury Hotel.

Listen to Candor’s Ravi Abeysuriya, JLL’s Sunil Subramanian and Liang Thow Ming, CSMO of CHEC Port City and other experts share on the best investment options available at the moment. Organised by LankaPropertyWeb.com and RB Realtors & Consultants. For more information, please visit www.LankaPropertyWeb.com/events.