Lack of loans from banks prevents the growing middle class from owning homes in cities, forcing many to spend a substantial portion of their income on rent.
“If bank loans can be made available to them [middle-class people] they can easily afford to have homes,” Bproperty chief executive Mark Nosworthy said in an Aug. 16 interview with New Age.
‘This is [also] a big challenge for the real estate sector in Bangladesh,” said the CEO of the booming online company that provides real estate advice and legal services to sellers and buyers.
Nosworthy, an Australian with experience in e-commerce, has led the company since its inception in 2016.
While the company has focused on the secondary market for apartments in the capital and the port city of Chattogram, Bproperty is also asserting itself in land transactions and new apartments.
“We get about 80,000 requests a month,” Nosworthy said.
Sellers and buyers find the Bproperty online platform useful due to the availability of information and services which, according to the CEO, were nearly absent in Bangladesh before the company emerged in the country.
Consumers remain at risk of being victimized by counterfeiting due to lack of data, Nosworthy said, adding that they have collected industry insights over the past five years to become the largest real estate consultancy. with a workforce of 450 people.
Although the online real estate advisory services provided by Bproperty are a relatively new concept in Bangladesh, such services are available in many countries.
The Bproperty online platform is an effective service provider for consumers to make informed decisions on property-related matters, Nosworthy said.
According to a calculation by Nosworthy, some 250,000 transactions take place each year in the country’s second home market compared to around 10,000 in the new apartment market.
The secondary market for apartments is about 25 times the market for new apartments, he said, adding that the real estate sector is a big industry in the country.
The outlook for the sector, he said, is positive as demand for secondary and new-build apartments is high in the country.
Calling property prices in the country realistic, Noswrothy said strong demand in the face of scarcity in parts of the capital has always kept apartment prices high.
Rising prices for building materials emerged as another major reason for the situation, he said.
To make the real estate market more dynamic, Nosworthy suggested an active participation of the banking sector in the market, supported by the necessary fiscal measures.
The tax reduction tax measure for first-time buyers will have a positive impact on the industry, he observed.
Nosworthy believes in delivering on promises to maintain customer confidence in the company.
“If we make a promise, we always try to keep it,” he said.
As part of its short-term strategy, Nosworthy said, Bproperty will improve its services and also include information on potential homes in other potential cities besides Dhaka and Chattogram.
Bpropetry has identified the towns of Narayanganj, Gazipur, Cumilla and Sylhet with potential for expanding its services.
In addition, the firm has established one-stop service delivery, including advice on legal matters, as part of its long-term strategy to maintain business growth.
She has already spoken with a number of commercial banks to arrange home loans for her clients.
“Cooperation between banks and the real estate industry will improve the efficiency of our business,” Nosworthy said.
He was disappointed that middle class people cannot afford a property costing Tk 70 lakh – Tk 80 lakh because they have to spend a substantial part of their income on rent.
“In a sense, they are affording themselves a property since they are paying the rent,” he said.
The government should step in, he suggested, to get banks to agree to offer housing loans to middle-class applicants and help the sector grow as the country graduates from least-developed country status. in 2026.
Nosworthy, however, was quick to note that raising the country to the next economic level would not make a major difference to the outlook for the sector.
The high returns from investments in the sector will also continue in the coming years, he said, adding that the real estate sector will remain a good option for investors.