Real estate activity in Sri Lanka thrive amidst COVID-19

Property buyers and sellers were undaunted by the pandemic, says Lanka Property Web 

88 percent of property sellers kept their initial tagged price, whilst four percent increased their prices by 12 percent, indicating the stability of the market. JaromirChalabala/Shutterstock

According to real estate listing site LankaPropertyWeb (LPW), real estate activity from both property buyers and sellers surged since the turn of the year, reported Lanka Business Online.

In January 2021, their website had a 23 percent rise in visitors and 20 percent increase in leads generated from the properties listed compared to January 2020. The number of visitors also grew by 22 percent and leads by 20 percent from December 2020 to January 2021.

Lanka Business Online believes that this acceleration is industry-wide, seeing as another real estate site, house.lk recorded an all-time high number of visitors, boasting a 26 percent surge in visits throughout the month of January 2021 compared to a month before. 

As the government starts to ease COVID-19 restrictions across the country and market confidence resumes, real estate buyers have become more optimistic about closing deals since the beginning of the year.

As a matter of fact, LPW reveals that among the 63,250 property advertisers, only eight percent have decided to lower their prices in 2020, with an average discount of about 11 percent. They said that most of these reductions were caused by the sellers’ urgent need to sell, thereby offering more discounts upon the closing of a sale.

More LPW data published uncovered that 88 percent of property sellers kept their initial tagged price, whilst four percent increased their prices by 12 percent, indicating the stability of the market in the midst of the pandemic and enabling the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka) winners to take advantage, namely Best Developer 2018-2019 Prime Group, Best Mixed Use Development  2019 titleholder The One Transworks Square (Pvt) Ltd, and Best Boutique Developer 2018 Capital TRUST Residencies (Pvt.) Ltd. 

Due to the price fluctuations and the businesses’ switch to work from home arrangements, commercial property advertisers had to resort to lowering their prices by 13 percent in 2020. 

When asked about the commercial property market, the director at Menavid Realtors Naveed Zaveer, said: “There has been an improvement in the property market since December 2020, with inquiries being made.” 

“The opening of the Sri Lankan airport on the 21 st of January 2021 to tourists is also a positive step towards revitalising the economy. We stay positive and hopeful that this will create a positive mindset in the minds of the investors, motivating them to invest further in the property market.” 

More: CSE and SEC launches Real Estate Investment Trusts in Sri Lanka

Based on a 2020 study that tackled consumers’ search trends, Colombo was rated as the top in rental property searches, followed by Kandy then Dehiwala. As for sales property searches, Colombo remained at the top spot, followed by Kandy and Negombo, respectively. 

In general, LPW said the positive market sentiment has been growing steadily among sellers and buyers since January 2021, particularly with the 54 percent increase in properties listed on their site compared to January of last year. 

Feedback from property sellers and agents also revealed that the market has been seeing a substantial rise in the number of closed deals since a month ago, which is why they recommend buyers to finalise their transactions and take advantage of lower prices before they increase. 

Know of any award-worthy homes, condos, flats, or other real estate projects in Sri Lanka? Nominate them for the 2021 Asia  Property Awards (Sri Lanka) by 9 July 2021. Simply visit asiapropertyawards.com/en/award/asia-property-awards-sri-lanka for more details.

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