Why is Wattala so popular?
Nestled between Colombo North on the south, Dikkowita on the north and the Indian ocean lies the suburban city of Wattala.
According to leading property site LankaPropertyWeb.com, Wattala recently became the 3rd most popular city for house sale searches, after Colombo and Kandy. These figures are also mirrored in Google searches. It has managed to overtake other popular locations such as Dehiwala, Negombo, Nugegoda and Piliyandala.
So, what makes Wattala a popular destination above other urban and sub-urban cities in the country?
Located in an environment where people are gentle. Everyone has time for the other and to live in harmony. There is a fine balance of urbanisation and country values as all the conveniences are close at hand. Schools, Banks, Supermarkets, bakeries, restaurants, cafés, it’s all there in around Wattala. The town is away from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet it is a key urban centre with all the conveniences and facilities. Wattala has some must-see attractions, but there are some interesting spots in the surrounding area.
With a population slightly above 180,000, it is nestled in a peaceful environment of a multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society. The local inhabitants have traditionally been fisher folk and the working class blue collar workers. However more and more white collar workers and professionals have made Wattala their home and more are likely to move in due course to expanding transport links and increase in the Colombo workforce. There are many Churches, Buddhist temples, Hindu temples and mosques spread throughout the area. Though it is a majority Roman Catholic area, people of many faiths live here in peaceful coexistence.
With the ever-expanding younger executives moving in to Wattala we expect that the average age of the Wattalians (if we may call them that) will come down in the near future to represent a more young and vibrant community.
Travel & Transport
Wattala is a linear town centre and its activities concentrate along the A3 main road and are also accessible via the Peliyagoda exit from the Katunayake expressway which runs across it. The bus routes 187, 261 and 240 run through Wattala to Colombo.
The distance from Wattala town to Fort is less than 10km, although we know that with traffic this may seem much longer than it is.
The main issue traveling to and fro Wattala to Colombo is traffic. However, with the now completed Katunayake expressway and the proposed elevated highway from Kelaniya to Fort and onwards to Battaramulla, along with future RTL’s (Rapid Transport Line) Yellow (RTS2) line running to Mattakkuliya and beyond to Ja-Ela (extension), Wattala would be an ideal hub for the commuting workforce in to Colombo.
Wattala Main Road
Schools & education
Wattala has a combination of good state and International schools, such as Lyceum International School, O.K.I, St Anthony’s College and St Anne’s convent within a short distance away. Kelaniya university, one of the prominent universities in the country and the Ragama medical faculty are also a short distance away.
Hemas Hospitals has a set trend in medical care services in Wattala, and Nawaloka Hospitals has also made its mark in private healthcare services. In addition to these many private clinics can be found in the area.
Food City & Keells Super supermarkets are abundant along the A3 highway with an Arpico Super Center and Odel in the Wattala town.
Arpico Super Center
Pegasus Reef is one of the prominent hotels in the area, along with Reefs Edge and Palm Village hotel providing great value for your money.
Food & Restaurants
Popular international brands such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Dominos and McDonalds are now available in Wattala, giving the locals a variety of choice and the convenience of ordering them locally.
Wattala has some must-see attractions, but there are some interesting spots in the surrounding area. The most important aspect of Wattala is its beaches. Although it plays second fiddle to its more illustrious neighbour Negombo when it comes to beaches and recreation, Wattala has its own pristine beaches such as Crow Island beach park, Sea Shine Beach and Preethi Pura beach.
Housing & Land
Due to the increase in residential housing prices within Colombo city, a rising percentage of the working population is moving to the suburbs like Wattala, which is much cheaper in comparison. A house in the bordering areas of the city is much cheaper than a similar house in the city centre. These clear economic advantages predict a shift toward demand for housing on the outskirts of the city limits.
The average price of a 3-bedroom house for sale in Wattala has increased from Rs. 15.7M to Rs. 19.4M in the last year (23% increase). The price of land for sale has increased from Rs. 8.67 lakhs per perch to Rs. 9.27 lakhs per perch (6.9% increase), as per the statistics from LankaPropertyWeb.com. This indicates that the prices are on the upward trend, however still cheaper than south-of-the-river in Colombo.
To cater to the growing demand for property in the area property developers have now turned their eye on to Wattala. Projects such as Altezza Residencies by Odiliya Residencies have commenced construction, where apartments start from Rs. 9.7 million, and bringing luxury apartment living to Wattala at an affordable price. Two other property developers have also started their luxury apartment projects in Wattala.
Wattala belongs to the wider Megapolis development plan and is bound to benefit as part of the development plans in the next decade. We’ve discussed the improvements in transportation earlier that will benefit Wattala. With planned developments in the port, Port City and increase in tourism, and being in the middle of the commercial hub of Colombo and the major tourism area of Negombo, Wattala can play a major role as a commuting town where the working population travel to the upcoming work centres in these areas.
In Conclusion, the places where people live affects greatly in their lifestyles and the living place is one of the very basic needs for people. Wattala is an ideal place to relocate too and can be particularly appealing to young people, who like the excitement of exploring a thriving and fast growing commercial hub.