Lamudi: Dhaka emerging markets’ top place to buy home

By Andrei Skvarsky.

Global property portal Lamudi argues that Dhaka should be top of the list for anyone wishing to buy their first-ever home in an emerging market country.

The Bangladeshi capital, where an average apartment costs an equivalent of US$100,350, offers property seekers “the widest choice available” in the country, Lamudi says in a report.

Dhaka is one of 10 emerging market cities recommended by Lamudi as the best locations for first-time home purchases. The Berlin-based portal bases its advice on a combination of criteria ranging from affordability to amenities.

The other nine cities include Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city, which is considered the country’s economic, political, educational and entertainment hub.

In recent years, Lahore’s real estate sector has expanded rapidly, with an increase in migration to the city from surrounding rural areas. It “offers several attractive and lucrative investment opportunities for first-time buyers”, Lamudi says.

Accra has been ranked one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa by the African Development Bank.

Ghana’s capital “is full of contrasts, with lively neighbourhoods to cater to the young at heart and serene areas for those looking for some peace and quiet”, and has “a range of affordable and luxury homes on offer, as well as world-class retail and entertainment centres”, the report says.

The Kampala suburb of Kiwatule, which lies about 12 kilometres from the centre of the Ugandan capital, has experienced rapid growth. The Kampala Northern Bypass offers easy access to the capital from Kiwatule, where several business centres are located.

Doha is the fastest-growing city in Qatar, the country’s economic centre and one of the emerging financial centres in the Middle East.

While petrol in Doha is some of the world’s cheapest, with an equivalent of $0.13 charged per litre, the city appears to be the most expensive of the 10 cities property-wise, with prices varying from $1,510 to $4,100 per square metre, compared with generally three-digit figures in the other recommended locations.

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city after Riyadh, is the main gateway to Mecca and welcomes thousands of Muslims from all over the world every year.

“The city is slightly less conservative than strictly religious Riyadh. It enjoys a pleasant climate, has convenient access to well-kept beaches and is one of the most affordable cities to live in,” Lamudi says.

Property in Jeddah is also relatively expensive, with apartments in the central part of the city being worth between $933 and $1,600 and those outside the centre between $480 and $1,280 per square metre.

Amman is a city frequently visited by business travellers and tourists. Jordan’s capital boasts one of the Middle East’s best healthcare systems with both private and public medical facilities.

Depok in Indonesia has been developing rapidly in recent years. The new commuter railway line connects the city to the Greater Jakarta Area. Depok has a network of educational facilities, including universities, and multiple restaurants and shopping centres.

The list also includes the less-known cities of Machakos in Kenya and Mexico’s Santiago de Queretaro. The latter, founded in 1531, offers “great job opportunities and a quiet lifestyle”, and is two and a half hours away from Mexico City, Lamudi says.

Kampala and Machakos also offer relatively low rents. A self-contained house in Kampala will cost between $147 and $350 and a three-bedroom townhouse in Machakos about $450 per month to rent, the report says.

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