Bahria Town’s Garden City to DHA’s Serene City

Bahria Town’s Garden City to DHA’s Serene City

Bahria Town is currently busy resolving issues related to its projects in Lahore and Islamabad. Protests have been held by those affected by Bahria Town Sector F in Lahore. We are yet to find out how over 5,000 of those affected by Bahria Town’s Garden City (Zone V – IX) in Islamabad, which has now technically become DHA Serene City, will react if their demands are not fulfilled. To give you a better understanding of the Garden-City issue, here is quick rundown of what actually happened there.

Background

Bahria Town launched Garden City back in 2013 on a two-year payment plan. The prices of the plots were high since Bahria claimed that the project has been fully developed and the property owners can start construction of their homes in Garden City right away. In 2015, without any proper announcement, Bahria Town handed over Garden City to DHA as a compensation to DHA Valley, for which it received several billions from the DHA. By then, Bahria Town had also received full payments for these plots in Garden City.

Concerns of property owners

Initially, the property owners were told that with DHA taking over Garden City, property rates here will spike. Shortly after DHA erected “Serene City” board by removing Garden City’s board, property transfer office here was also shut down for an indefinite period. The latest update in this regard is that property owners, who have reached an approximate number of 5,000, have been asked by Bahria Town to submit PKR 3,500,000 in terms of development charges.

Why impose development charges?

The launching rate of Garden City plots were high at PKR 6,000,000 and PKR 4,000,000 for 1-kanal and 10-marla residential plots, respectively. Bahria claims that this is because these were developed plots. In other words, the development charges were included in the initial price. Now when DHA took over, no formal announcement was made by any of the two developers and Bahria Town imposed development charges at an extremely high rate of PKR 3,500,000 and PKR 2,500,000 for 1-kanal and  10-marla plots, respectively. Why they have asked for the development charges again is the question that bothers the property owners too.

Compensation for the bounced check?

As a compensation to DHA Valley – a project that faced delayed development work as well as litigation – Bahria Town offered DHA a cheque of PKR 62 billion, which bounced. The amount was to be paid anyway. It appears that by imposing and collecting development charges on Garden City’s property, Bahria Town is looking to generate that income for the DHA.

The reaction

Those affected aren’t willing to pay development charges primarily because they purchased developed plots, with the extra charges included in the introductory rates. They rightly think it is unfair. To counter this, the affectees formed a core committee to sort their issues out with Bahria Town’s management.

The outcome of the persistent demands of the property owners presented to the management is that the developer has apparently agreed to accept their terms. According to the representatives of the core committee, Bahria Town has asked them to wait until August 16, as they intend to share some good news by then. In addition to that, Bahria Town’s management has also agreed to waive off development charges.

What to expect now?

 DHA has renamed all blocks and streets of Garden City, and now new boards have been erected reading DHA-assigned names for these sectors. If you pass through GT Road opposite the entrance of DHA Phase II, you will see boards for Serene City instead of Garden City. From this development, we can safely assume that DHA and Bahria Town are now in advanced stages to finalise their agreement for this project; an announcement is predicted before August 16.

If Bahria Town does not collect development charges from property owners, what will it actually offer to DHA? A project that was sold out many years ago and now belongs to individual owners? Meanwhile 5,000 people wonder if they will get possession of their property in the near future and whether their investment will pay them off as per their expectations.

 

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bahria town karachi investment guide

Where To Invest in Bahria Town Karachi ?

Bahria Town Karachi is one of the hottest properties in Karachi right now. We have covered the different paths that investors should take when it comes to this project, and now I want to tell genuine buyers how they should go about investing in the project.

Choosing between apartments and houses

Bahria Town is perhaps the cheapest locality in Karachi if you want to buy a house. This might be an indicator to some that houses here are higher in demand than apartments. Surprisingly, this is not true. I have learnt that there is no big difference in the number of people eyeing homes in Bahria Town Karachi, when compared to people looking at apartments. This balance in demand is also reflected in the averaging asking price, which continues to fare strong for both categories.

Popular precincts among genuine buyers

Genuine buyers who have the resources ready for immediate purchase do not invest in projects and developments that aren’t on ground, or ones that don’t offer possession. Predictability, precincts where property possession has been granted by Bahria Town are more in demand, and higher on the buying list.

This includes Precinct 1, also known as the Overseas Block, Precinct 4, Precinct 6, Precinct 10, Precinct 11, Precinct 12, also known as Ali Block, and Quaid Villas.

The fact that many buyers with varying budgets are tempted to buy property here says a lot about the quality and range of lifestyle amenities that the project offers.

A look at rates

Precinct 1

Precinct 1 or Overseas Block is located close to the Jamia Masid and it features 250 and 500 square yard plots. At the moment, many families live here, and many more are constructing their houses. The average market rate of these plots is many times higher than the launching price offered on instalments.

Plot SizeLaunching RateAsking ProfitAverage Market Rate
250 square yardPR 3,600,000PKR 6,500,000 – PKR 7,000,000PKR 10,350,000
500 square yardPKR 5,800,000PKR 7,500,000 – PKR 8,000,000PKR 13,550,000

Bahria Apartments

Possession for Bahria Town Apartments is available in Tower 1, 2, 3 and 5. These apartments are also known as old 2-bedroom apartments because they were one of the oldest booking done by Bahria Town in its Karachi’s project. Since the options available in Bahria Town apartment are limited, the average market rate is now much higher than the booking price.

Apartment TypeLaunching RateAsking ProfitAverage Market Rate
2-bedroomPR 2,200,000PKR 3,800,000 – PKR 4,000,000PKR 6,100,000

Precinct 4

It only features 500-square yard plots. The asking profit on these plots is so far the highest among all BTK projects in Karachi, where property possession has been granted. This precinct is located close to the Grand Jamia Masjid. Compare the market rates of these plots with that of same sized plots in posh and central areas of Karachi, and you will learn that prices here are more reasonable.

Plot SizeLaunching RateAsking ProfitAverage Market Rate
500 square yardPR 5,500,000PKR 8,000,000 – PKR 8,500,000PKR 13,750,000

Precinct 6

Like Precinct 4, this area also lies near the Grand Jamia Masjid. The developer has ensured that the area surrounding Jamia Masjid is ready for possession on time to allow people to benefit from this facility. This precinct features 250-square yards and 500-square yards residential plots. The asking profit of 250-square yard plots is higher than that of 500 square-yard options.

Plot SizeLaunching RateAsking ProfitAverage Market Rate
250 square yardPR 2,800,000PKR 4,000,000 – PKR 4,500,000PKR 7,050,000
500 square yardPKR 4,500,000PKR 6,000,000 – PKR 6,500,000PKR 10,750,000

Precinct 12

The only block that exclusively features 5-marla residential plots with possession, is Precinct 12 – also known as Ali Bock. It is fairly popular among end users. At the moment, and compared to property rates in other blocks, market rates here seems reasonable.

Plot SizeLaunching RateAsking ProfitAverage Market Rate
125 square yardPR 3,000,000PKR 1,000,000 – PKR 1,500,000PKR 4,250,000

Quaid Villas

This block features ready-made villas ranging from 125 square yards and 250 square yards. Possession for this block was granted recently. The asking profit on these villas is almost equal to the launching rate.

Villa SizeLaunching RateAsking ProfitAverage Market Rate
125 square yardPR 4,200,000PKR 4,000,000 – PKR 4,200,000PKR 8,300,000
200 square yardPKR 7,500,000PKR 7,000,000 – PKR 7,500,000PKR 14,750,000

Precinct 10

Possession for 200 square yard villas has been granted by Bahria Town in this block. The asking price, which is now much higher than what it was when the villas were launched, is proof that these homes enjoy sound demand in the market. Looking at the construction quality of these units, the current market price does not seem like it is too high.

Villa SizeLaunching Rate Asking ProfitAverage Market Rate
200 square yardPR 4,500,000 PKR 5,000,000 – PKR 5,500,000PKR 9,750,000

Precinct 11

Property possession for 125 square yard villas has been offered here. Like 200 square yard villas in Precinct 10, the market demand for these villas is high. At an average rate of over PKR 8,500,000, their asking price is comparatively higher.

Villa SizeLaunching RateAsking ProfitAverage Market Rate
125 square yardPR 4,200,000PKR 4,500,000 – PKR 5,000,000PKR 8,950,000

Which Precinct to pick?

Genuine buyers are more interested in buying plots, villas or apartments that boast better locations. By better we mean those closer to the society’s main entrance on the Super Highway, as well as the active commercial and recreational facilities. In addition, blocks enjoying higher occupancy rates also end up being the preferred places to buy homes and plots.

In this context, most genuine buyers find Precinct 1 and 4 more appropriate for the lifestyle standard they wish to experience in Bahria Town Karachi. If you have any further questions or queries, let me know through your comments.

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bahria lahore ring road

Update on Bahria Town’s tussle with LRR

Things are heating up for Bahria Town. On July 14, a single-member bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) vacated Bahria Town’s stay on Lahore Ring Road (LRR)’s eight-kilometre Southern Loop-III (SL-III), according to news sources. Yesterday, this verdict was overturned by a two-member bench on Bahria Town’s request.

Bahria Town’s stance is that the land for LRR’s SL-III has been acquired in an illegal manner, which affects the lives of 300 families whose property falls on this route. The two-member bench instructed the Punjab Government to submit an answer by July 24.

The development giant petitioned the LHC in January last year. It pleaded that the new route was passing through land that it legally owns. The Punjab government on the other hand responded that the route was finalised in 2008 – Bahria Town began developing after this and not before.

The Punjab Government’s council also claimed that the road’s final route was in the developer’s notice. According to him, the construction done by Bahria Town is also illegal because the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) did not issue approvals for its scheme or map.

Subject to the court’s decision, LRR’s SL-III could be completed in five to six months. Commenting on the single-member bench’s ruling given on July 14, Bahria Town’s counsel said that the decision was given without hearing their arguments. He also said that Bahria Town planned to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Bahria Town reportedly purchased around 656 kanals of land, which the Punjab Government intended to acquire for LRR’s SL-III. Not just this, the government’s council also claimed that the developer knew that there were chances of the land being compromised due to LRR’s expansion. According to news sources, around 71 houses and a total of seven plazas fall in the LRR’s route, for which the Punjab government issued a two-day evacuation deadline on Friday.

Bahria Town CEO Malik Riaz’s in a statement said that he will not let his society, or those who own property there, face any compromising situation. According to our sources, Bahria Town has bought back property from investors on the market rates, and promised plot owners alternate plots in the society.

Now the question is about meeting the loss that Bahria Town is expected to face because of the units that were already built in the area. According to a news source, Bahria Town also recently participated in bidding for LRR’s southern loop.

With the new ruling, the Punjab government cannot carry out any operation against the already constructed property lying in LRR’s route. However, this is not the end of the case and it will continue to twist and turn in the future as well. The Punjab government planned to inaugurate the new route by August this year, but it remains to be seen if this will be the case.

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