Are Apartment Developers Moving to the Suburbs?

With Colombo city turning into a business hub, a rising demand for apartments has been seen over the years. Catering to this, recent studies of LankaPropertyWeb (LPW) show that apartment developers are now exploring the suburbs. Thus contributing to the ‘business hub’ by opting to construct complexes beyond the main city.

The increasing population and the changing lifestyles of people have also influenced the number of apartment constructions taking place. However, over the years such constructions taking place in the inner city of Colombo (i.e., Colombo 1-15), have continued to decrease in number.

Condominium Projects From 2014 – 2019

According to the Condominium Management Authority (CMA), there is an increase in condominiums in Colombo from 2014 to 2016. Yet, an obvious reduction is seen from 2017 onward. Apartment constructions in the other districts are following a downward slope as well. However, in the greater Colombo areas like Rajagiriya, Mount Lavinia, etc. there is a continuous rise in apartment constructions from 2015. Thus turning into the modern home for many.

The opening of Sethsiripaya in Battaramulla by former President Mahinda Rajapaksha in 2012, brought about plans to shift government offices into the administrative hub of Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte. Thus leaving Colombo city for business affairs. As a result, now the 13 storied building houses the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Ministry of Housing Construction and Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Higher Education and Highways, etc. This has brought numerous improvements in terms of administration and service to the public. 

Future development projects expect to further uplift the standard and infrastructure in the greater Colombo areas and the Western region on the whole. Introduction of the Western Region Master Plan 2030 that includes the construction of the Light Rail Transit system from Malabe to Fort with 16 stations, the Tech City Development Project directed in Malabe, Athurugiriya, Kaduwela and Homagama areas, creation of the Airport Business City, the BIA Gateway Project are some constructions expected within the next ten years.  

The Kottawa – Makumbura Multi-Modal Transport Hub opened in April of this year to the public, is another development project that was taken up to improve the transport system in the greater Colombo areas.

Price Changes in Land in the Greater Colombo and Colombo Areas From 2018 – 2019

The data of the CMA on land price change show that over the quarters of the past year and this year, changes in land prices are higher in the greater Colombo areas of Rajagiriya, Nawala, Kalubowila, and Dehiwala. On the other hand, there is an evident hike in land for sale in Colombo 3, given the many developments including unique house designs taking place. However, the prices of the other areas of Colombo aren’t rising as high as the greater Colombo areas.

Comparing this with the rising apartment constructions in the greater Colombo areas, the interest of condominium developers is justified quite obviously.

Floor Area in Condominiums From 2014 -2019

Floor area space amongst apartments in Colombo and service apartments in colombo are reducing too. But, in the greater Colombo areas, they are increasing. This hints at apartments in the latter turning out to be more spacious than those in the main city. 

Many established and recognized private universities are also increasing in number in the greater Colombo areas. This has created an access to education in these areas, equally if not more, available in quality and standard as the main city of Colombo.

Improvements in infrastructure, transport facilities, education and many more taking place in the greater Colombo areas, has developers now realizing the opportunities available for them. As a result, an increase in apartment construction in the greater Colombo areas is speculated within the near future! 

Posted Date: 5th September 2019

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