Murree Real Estate market is much smaller than any major city in Pakistan. But interestingly, its prices are almost equal to the main urban cities of Pakistan. Why? It deserves to know more…
Murree is a part of Punjab province in Pakistan. It has a tehsil status under the main Rawalpindi District.
Murree is about appx 400 sq km area and located at an 7500 ft above sea level. Its population is about appx 170,000., but the majority of it is in the rural areas of Murree in small villages. The original Murree inhabitants are only appx 25000 and have their roots in the tribes and they have strong bond within their own tribes.
The main Murree city was first identified during the British Raj in 1850 by Major James Abbot (who is also famous for discovering and developing Abbottabad).
British developed the Murree Town for its own military and Government purposes. During the Summer, the British Punjab Government used to shift their offices to Murree between 1855 to 1875. Then later, in 1876, they moved to Shimla (in India).
Since then Murree occupied its significance and started gaining attraction. After the partition in 1947, Pakistan progressed further to develop the town with more facilities and amenities.
Murree has beautiful lush green mountains with cold weather that attracts visitors and tourists from all cities of Pakistan and even from abroad.
Murree attracts about 25000 visitors each month on average and it may increase during the peak months.
Due to such an attraction and influx of tourists, the commercial activities in the Murree region increased and the local residents gained a lot.
The tourism revenue from the Murree region contributed upto PKR 89 billion in 2018. This was certainly an attractive amount.
The main reason for this attraction is due to the fact that Murree is open throughout the year in summers and even in extreme Winters. It is never closed.
The road network has improved a lot. The old Murree Road is still well maintained. In addition, the new Murree Expressway has been constructed which is a dual carriage road that has made it even easier and comfortable to travel to Murree and back during the day.
With this, the Murree Real estate has boomed during the last few years. The investors from other areas of Pakistan have been extensively interested to build their hotels, motels and restaurants to capitalize on the increasing tourism boom in Murree.
As per the Murree Real Estate market as of 2021, the prices for a 1 Kanal plot in Murree may range from PKR 1 Crore to PKR 3 Crores in the main Murree prime areas.
However, if you do a good roundup of the surrounding areas, you may be lucky to get a better deal much economical in the adjoining non-prime areas of Murree Mountains.
The Murree real estate market includes 3 types of properties i.e. commercial plots, residential plots and rental/lease properties. Commercial properties can be used to construct a hotel, motel or any other shopping area or store.
Residential plots are for constructing private houses or cottages for your own use.
The rental properties can only be taken for the agreed fixed period with agreed monthly or yearly rent or lease amount. These rental properties can also be for residential purposes or for commercial purposes.
Despite having these types, it is also observed that there is some amount of flexibility. The residential quarters sometimes may also host commercial activities depending upon the location. Especially for small hotels, free-lance consultants, small schools or dispensary services, these services can be found in mixed areas. And the owner can live in the same house and may make the house to earn a means of income for the family.
If you are thinking about the rental space on the Main Mall Road or in case of buying any shop or plot, you better have to think twice, thrice or more.
The prices in this part to Murree real estate has gone through the roof. Anywhere from PKR 5 Crores to PKR 10 Crores is not uncommon, only if you are lucky. So, it is only for the big investors.
The construction of any house or multi story building in Murree also has some specialized features. It is different from what you construct in the plain areas.
Due to the mountainous terrain, one has to develop solid foundation first to build on top of it. And mostly the rock blocks are used instead of normal bricks. Moreover, one has to comply with the zone bylaws as well.
The cost of construction in Murree may be little higher than constructing on a plain piece of land.
The cost of construction may range from PKR 1500 – PKR 3000 per sq ft.
Therefore, constructing a 2-bedroom house or cottage may cost you between PKR 20 lac – PKR 30 lacs (for 1000 sq ft place)
Murree Real Estate is now gone main stream. As there is now limited places available in main Murree. The prices in that area are very very high.
However, you have to move to the surroundings in order to get better deal.
Buying and constructing something in Murree has many advantages.
Investors can take a good advantage of the Murree real estate market to earn handsome profits from the booming tourism opportunities in Murree.
In the main Murree city, there are many attractions for tourists.
The most famous is the main Mall Road Murree, that is the center of commercial activity in the Murree and is open in late hours till midnight.
You can find all kinds of shops here, women clothing, men clothing, house hold items, arts and handicraft, dry fruit shops and plenty of restaurants and eateries as well as hotels and guest houses all around.
Every visitor who come to Murree, has to visit the Mall Road.
For tourists, in Murree, the other places to visit are the Kashmir point and the Pindi Point. You can have scenic views from these areas. And you can also see the glimpse of the Kashmir mountains from the Kashmir point.
In addition, Murree recently has also started the Tram service, that goes around the Murree to give you a good 30 minutes ride to show you all the scenic beauty of the Murree mountains.
You can also take the horse rides on the Kashmir and Pindi point.
In addition to these tourists’ attractions, there are a lot of educational opportunities for the locals.
Murree has a good literacy rate almost 70+% population is literate.
There are plenty of primary schools, with degree college for boys and girls. Now recently, the Government has opened the Murree Kohsar University for post graduate degrees.
Army has its own educational establishment that include the famous Lawrence College, Cadet college, Army Public School. PAF School and college. In addition, there is Convent school for girls.
Murree offers good quality education opportunities not only to the local residents but for those from other cities as well. The senior Government officials who are posted there find good educational opportunities for the children to study.
It is hard to find all such facilities and amenities in mountain resort town. And that makes Murree as a prime Murree real estate market attracting now billions of rupees for investment.
One obvious such investment is the Pearl Continental Hotel in Bhurban by Hashwanis. They have identified a beautiful valley view and have constructed a beautiful PC resort. It is one of the main attractions for the wealthy and affluent classes of Pakistanis and foreign dignitaries to book their stay in the PC Hotel Bhurban.
In real estate world, the famous maxim still holds true. ‘it is all about location, location, location’. But interestingly when it comes about Murree, location is everywhere, and it is also about ‘views, views views’.
As per the recent COVID update, travel, tourism and hospitality sectors all over the world have been badly affected, and revenues have dropped less than half. The year 2020 was the worst hit. But from 2022 onwards there is a good hope for the recovery and bouncing back of the tourism industry. Tourism and real estate are closely linked.
Those who may have affected adversely one way or the other, they should prepare themselves in 2021 and be ready for the revival of tourism and real estate in the 2022 onwards. And Murree real estate is not an exception.
There is already a huge pent-up demand in the consumers, who are desperate and frustrated and want to go out as soon as possible. This is about human psyche, we are social creatures first, we are not made to contain ourselves.
According to the world economic outlook, the year 2022 and beyond, there may be impressive resurgence in the economy worldwide including Pakistan.
As a world benchmark, US real estate and housing market are on the rise again. you can read more about the trends & predictions of the US real estate.
The year 2020 has been worst-hit, the year 2021 will also be slow and difficult, but from the year 2022, all commercial activities may resume to its full swing. The 2021 is the year to change the paradigm shift and to do some internal housekeeping and introspection, and finally get prepared for the year 2022. There are some good signs in the tourism industry report, you can read here.
Those living in Murree and those who have eyes on Murree real estate market and tourism industry, they should get prepared for the better in the near future.
Yes. There is always a silver lining to every dark cloud.
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