Dubai: The real estate market in Pakistan has the potential to grow rapidly in the coming years with a $40 billion housing investment potential, said Shafiq Akbar, the CEO of real estate firm Imarat Group.
With 70 per cent of overseas Pakistanis channelling their remittances into property and contributing $12 billion annually, there is no denying the sector’s centrality to Pakistan’s economy, said Akbar. He spoke at a public-private partnership forum at Cityscape Global in Riyadh.
“An astounding 70 million of Pakistan’s population is between the age of 15 and 29, a figure surpassing the entire population of the UK”, he said. “The youth embark on the journey of family life and need new homes,” added Akbar.
Translated into financials, this represents a potential investment of $40 billion annually in housing, up to $3 - $4 trillion in the next 20 years.
While there are critical problems surrounding Pakistan’s economy, the sector has strong investment potential, offering a roadmap for growth and stability. “A holistic solution, encompassing a thorough policy framework and robust digital infrastructure, is needed to harness Pakistan’s latent potential,” explained Akbar.
A recent Savills real estate market report also hinted at Pakistan’s growth potential, stating that investment and leasing activity will pick up shortly.
“The Government also restricted the outflow of cash by corporates, which in turn has meant that many companies have decided to invest this money in their existing presence in the country, for example, by taking out newer and greener office space and greenfield industrial land,” said Hammad Rana, CEO of Savills in Pakistan. “In recent months, we have seen EY, Pfizer, Coca Cola and Citibank, amongst others, make such moves,” he added.
Akbar also said Pakistan stands to learn from Saudi Arabia’s real estate model, which has laid the foundation for the transformation of its economy. Imarat Group recently expanded into the GCC with an office in the UAE. The company has ventures in AI, blockchain and satellite technologies.