The USA is the leading foreign investor in Pakistan’s real estate market, according to new data released today by property portal Lamudi.pk. Lamudi website data shows that the top five countries investing in the local real estate sector are: the USA, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Canada.
It comes at a time when Pakistan’s buoyant real estate sector is seeing increasing interest from foreign investors. The demand for residential and commercial property has risen by up to 15 percent in the first three months of 2015. This trend is expected to accelerate throughout the year.
Saad Arshed, Country Director of Lamudi in Pakistan, said: “Pakistan has a multi-million dollar real estate industry, which can be gauged from the sheer value of its domestic real estate assets which are worth a staggering US$700 billion.
This sector has recently attracted an increasing number of foreign investors, as seen by the recent boost in the number of overseas property-seekers accessing the Lamudi website. Our website receives the most number of foreign views and leads from the USA since a large number of overseas Pakistanis are living there.”
Pakistan has one of the most liberal foreign investment regimes in South Asia. Investors can have 100 percent foreign equity in the infrastructure sector, along with other incentives such as repatriation of capital, capital gains, dividends and profits. “All of this has further sparked the interest of investors in Pakistan’s most promising investment sector,” Arshed said.
The three-day Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) expo held in 2014, of which Lamudi.pk was an official bronze sponsor, sparked international interest in the property and construction sectors. About 30 foreign companies from the construction and allied industries participated in the event. Moreover, foreign companies present at the expo signed US$200 million worth of trade and investment agreements, which is further expected to lead to $800 million investment in the coming months.
Pakistan’s real estate sector is the backbone of the urban economy, being the second largest employer after the agricultural sector and contributing about two percent to the overall GDP. Mr. Arshed encouraged the government to assist foreign and local investors to further utilize the immense potential of this sector.