Apartments only 1.7% of Colombo’s living units

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Contrary to popular perception, apartments currently account for only 1.7 per cent of Colombo’s residential facilities despite the scarcity of land to cater to rapid urbanisation, an industry leader has disclosed.

Representing Altair as a Director of the iconic development and the Condominium Developers Association of Sri Lanka (CDASL) as its Chairman, Pradeep Moraes told the Sri Lanka Investment & Business Conclave (SLIBC) that even after the 12,000 apartments currently under construction are completed over the next three to four years, this figure would only rise to about 4 to 5 per cent.

In contrast, apartments account for as much as 70 per cent of living accommodation in central Kuala Lumpur, 80 per cent of central Bangkok and 90 per cent of central Mumbai, Moraes said.

Stressing that condominium living was the only solution to increasing urbanisation in areas like Colombo where land is in short supply, he pointed out that if the area occupied by the Altair project had been allocated for houses, it would have been able to accommodate 54 minimum-sized units at most, whereas the development’s twin towers offer 400 spacious luxury apartments, with as much as 45 per cent of total space set aside for public areas, which is much more than the industry average.

The presentation, titled ‘Residential Condominium Market – Sri Lanka’ targeted principally at foreign delegates attending the conclave, highlighted both the emotional arguments and the business rationale that underpin the attraction of the property development sector in Colombo, the fastest growing city in the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index of 2015.

Moraes also disclosed that 90 per cent of luxury condominium purchases are equity based, and that on average, 65 per cent of purchases are by resident Sri Lankans, 27 per cent by expatriate Sri Lankans and 8 per cent by foreigners.

Quoting the findings of the global real estate services firm Jones Lang Lasalle he said 98 per cent of completed luxury condominium projects in Colombo are sold out, while on average, 47 per cent of projects under construction are sold out. These findings are supported by statistics from RIU (Research Intelligent Unit) whose corresponding figures are 99 per cent and 49 per cent respectively. In the case of Altair, more than two thirds of its apartments have been sold.

Altair was the Platinum Sponsor of the 2018 Sri Lanka Investment & Business Conclave, themed ‘Partnering for Prosperity.’ The event was attended by 131 foreign delegates, while 128 local participants were registered to attend. It was organised by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in association with four government ministries, the BOI, the EDB, the Department of Commerce and the Sri Lanka Conventions Bureau.

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