Business

Real estate upbeat despite Covid curfews : Lanka Property Web

Sri Lanka’s real estate market has suffered no damage from the Covid-19 curfews imposed since October in various parts of the country and has in fact operated positively through them, the country’s leading property listing website Lanka Property Web said yesterday (16).

The company based this on a comparison done between website visitors and users of Lanka Property Web (LPW) during the first week of the initial lockdown imposed in March and the last week of October, which showed an increase of 153% and 115%, respectively.

With the initial Minuwangoda Covid-19 cluster growing in different parts of the country, and ad hoc curfews being put in place, on 2 November the Government imposed a curfew for the entire Western Province.

LPW added that the number of ads posted on lankapropertyweb.com also increased by 298% along with a rise in page views of 139%. In summary, there has been a rather minimal impact on the views and leads on the site during this lockdown compared to the first.

The most property searches had been in the areas of Colombo, particularly Colombo 5, 6, and 7, Kandy, Dehiwala, and Wattala. There was also a unique increase in searches for cultivated lands, especially for coconut and tea lands, noted LPW, saying this bears evidence to the growing internal agriculture industry that is reviving despite the pandemic.

LPW said it gained its highest lead generation in October as well, reaching a peak of 100,000, and called it “an outstanding record” for this year.

The House Price Index of LPW showed that during 2020 (between Q1 and Q3) the prices of houses, apartments, and lands have remained stable in Sri Lanka. However, in countries like Canada, Moody’s Analytics forecast housing prices to drop over the next few months reaching up to 7% in 2021. The current housing prices in Canada have reduced drastically with each month since February.

Meanwhile in the UK, reports of mortgage lender Nationwide showed that the country witnessed a property price reduction of 1.4% in June and 1.7% in May. This was its highest property price fluctuation since 2009. In Australia, CoreLogic’s daily index revealed Melbourne had recorded a 3% reduction in real estate prices in the second quarter; while Singapore experienced its highest property price reduction in three years during the same period.

With repatriation in progress and the need for housing growing every day, it is less likely that the Sri Lankan real estate market will experience a downturn similar to countries like the UK, Singapore, etc., LPW forecast.