The housing market in Bangladesh has seen significant growth in recent years, driven by an increasing population and a growing middle class. The demand for housing has outpaced supply in many areas, leading to rising prices and a lack of affordable options for many buyers. The government has implemented various initiatives to address this issue, such as the “Ashrayan Project,” which aims to provide low-cost housing for the urban poor. The second-hand housing market also garnered traction, thanks to the initiatives taken by top real estate market leaders, such as Bproperty, in light of construction material price increases. However, the housing market in Bangladesh also faced challenges in some areas such as a lack of proper land management and inadequate infrastructure. In this article, we will review the state of the housing market in Bangladesh in 2022 and discuss trends, challenges, and market opportunities created for real estate.
In terms of demand, the housing market trend for 2022 had been almost similar to that of the past year with some interesting developments in the luxury housing market. Although people were more inclined towards buying houses in more affordable areas (i.e. Mirpur, Aftabnagar, Mohammadpur, etc.) in Dhaka, to most people the demand for 3 bedroom apartments was on top. Investment in luxurious housing, on the other hand, had been seen booming in the suburbs of Dhaka, as evidenced by the success of the US-Bangla Assets project.
Changes in home prices and affordability have been a major factor in the housing market in Dhaka, with prices ranging from Tk25 lakh to Tk52 lakh per katha for luxurious housing in the suburbs, and an average sqft price of Tk5,000 to Tk7,000 for an apartment in affordable areas such as Mirpur, Aftabnagar, and Mohammadpur. However, in prime areas such as Banani, Dhanmondi, Bashundhara R/A, and Uttara, the average sqft price is much higher, ranging from Tk8,000 to Tk13,000.
The shortage of affordable housing in Bangladesh has been a significant problem, as the existing demand for urban housing is estimated to be around 6 million units, with this number expected to rise to 10.5 million units by 2030. This demand is driven by the fact that approximately 67 million people currently live in urban areas in Bangladesh, and it is estimated that half the country’s population could be living in major cities by 2030.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimates that there is currently a financing gap of around $59 billion for approximately 3.5 million residential units in Bangladesh. To meet this demand, home loans worth $2.5 billion would need to be disbursed annually, yet mortgage penetration in the country is currently just 3%, compared to 10% in India and 50-70% in the developed world. This low level of mortgage penetration means that many people in Bangladesh are unable to access the financing they need to purchase a home, leading to a shortage of affordable housing options.
This limited access to mortgage financing is a huge concern for Bangladesh’s housing market to expand further. That being said, high interest rates on home loans offered by both government and private banks, difficult mortgage conditions, and a lack of a universal lending system are also contributing to the affordable housing issue.
Experts suggest that the government should introduce a more logical home loan system, following the pattern of India and other developed countries. Currently, the Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation, the sole government institution that provides home loans in the country, charges interest rates of 8-9%, with a maximum loan amount of Tk2 crore and a repayment tenure of 5-25 years.
Private banks and non-bank financial institutions charge interest rates of 8.99-15% and 8-8.5% respectively. In comparison, home loans are more affordable in India, with interest rates of 6-8% for government-affiliated institutions and 6.7-8.05% for private banks and non-bank financial institutions. The high cost of home loans and difficult eligibility conditions make it difficult for many people in Bangladesh to access financing and own an affordable home, leading to a housing crisis that is expected to worsen as the country’s urban population grows.
The real estate sector in Bangladesh experienced slow but steady growth in 2022, due in part to an increase in inward remittances being invested in the housing market. In addition, the development of housing projects along the Dhaka-Mawa expressway has provided further opportunities for growth in the sector. Several companies, including TM Assets Ltd, East Valley Development Ltd, and Fortuna Green City, have invested heavily in building luxurious apartments in the last few years, with a total investment of around Tk10,000 crore.
Also, the government’s previous initiative to allow for the whitening of untaxed money through real estate investment has also had a positive impact on the market, although a tax was required to be paid against such an investment in 2022. Overall, the potential for further government initiatives to improve the market suggests a bright future for the real estate sector in Bangladesh.
In conclusion, the housing market in Bangladesh in 2022 faced both challenges and opportunities. Despite high demand for housing, the lack of affordable options and limited access to mortgage financing have been major issues. The government has implemented initiatives such as the Ashrayan Project to address the shortage of affordable housing, but more action may be needed to address these challenges and increase accessibility to financing.
Despite these challenges, the housing market in Bangladesh has continued to see growth, with a focus on affordable housing in areas such as Mirpur, Aftabnagar, and Mohammadpur, and a boom in the luxury housing market in the suburbs of Dhaka. Overall, the housing market in Bangladesh in 2022 has seen both challenges and opportunities, and it remains to be seen how these issues will be addressed in the coming years.