How to find cheap, low-cost properties in Nepal
Real estate agents across the country are warning buyers of a slowdown in demand for houses, amid the country’s economic woes.
The government has cut the number of permits it requires for new construction to 3,000 from 8,000, which has led to some investors turning to cheaper alternatives.
Babacalur, a real estate agent in the Kathmandu suburb of Khagga, said he expects a slowdown.
“The average price of a home is about $200,000.
And now, because of the slowdown in construction, we are seeing a lot of buyers opting for cheaper houses,” he said.
Some sellers have started offering their homes for as little as $2 million.
But the number is shrinking fast.
“There are only about 300 homes that are available in Khaggas,” he told Reuters, referring to the area where his office is located.
“I have only sold one home for $2.3 million.
That’s about 10 percent of the average price we sold at,” he added.
The country is still reeling from a devastating earthquake in May, when a magnitude 6.1 quake struck the region’s capital of Pokhara, killing more than 4,000 people.
For the past two years, Nepal has had a temporary government of technocrats to manage the economy.
But economic experts say that has not been enough.
Rising inflation, a lack of infrastructure and the inability of Nepali government officials to maintain public order have pushed many families into poverty, making it difficult for many people to afford housing.
In the last two years alone, the number the Nepali Ministry of Housing reported renting out homes has risen from a record 1.2 million in 2016 to 1.3 billion last year, according to data from the United Nations Development Programme.
And many of those renting out their properties say they are struggling to make ends meet.
Mukesh Singh, who owns a home in Pokharsa, said that over the past few months he has received two or three calls from prospective buyers.
“I was told they were looking for houses for less than $200k,” he recounted.
He said that if they had more money to spend on food and rent, they would be happy to spend more money.
On Thursday, the Nepalese parliament will consider a bill that would allow the government to waive some property taxes, the minimum income required to buy a home and the rent that must be paid.
Many Nepali families are also struggling to buy their first home.
“I have bought my first home and it was a one-room house,” said Mukesh Singh.
“But I think the government is going to change it and let me buy another one.
The first one will be bigger.”