The Sri Lankan economy has been mirroring the bleak mood of the global economy. Some investors are withdrawing from the market in fear of what the pandemic may next bring. But others are making calculated moves. Businesses are launching new models whereas individuals are revising their plans. Simply put, everyone is gradually turning optimistic. This means people are making better use of the latest government stimulus in the economy. This also brings better prospects to those who want to build new, beautiful houses. Likewise, it benefits investment property purchases.
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But how can you be sure it’s the right time for you to invest in real estate? We’ve put together the main conditions that make property investment attractive:
1. Economic Indicators and Government Policies
How well the economy is performing affects the climate of the industries, including the real estate market. According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the summary of the statistics released as of July 2020 are as follows:
GDP growth % 2019-2020
Unemployment rates 2019-2020
Source: Central Bank of Sri Lanka (2020)
The economic indicators aren’t too pretty. Lower business activities put downward pressure on property prices. This makes it a fantastic time to invest in real estate. But that’s also a major cause for the government to intervene in the market.
Meanwhile, the government has proposed many initiatives to help kick-start the economy. According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, this includes measures to ensure financial stability, improving foreign exchange flows, and managing public debt.
Furthermore, UNICEF has also made recommendations to the government of Sri Lanka. This includes subsidies, income taxes, and even loans from international financial agencies. These policies may have a positive effect on the local economy if they come into effect.
2. Interest Rates
The interest rate is a dominating factor to consider before borrowing. Higher interest rates mean you need to pay the bank a large sum each month to repay your bank loan. This applies to both personal loans and commercial borrowings. Higher interest mortgage costs can discourage you from purchasing a new house or postpone your plans for home improvements.
In January 2020, the Monetary Policy Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka announced interest rate cuts. Both the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) were reduced by 50 basis points. The interest rate on deposits was at 6.5% while the interest rate on lending was at 7.5%. This was an attempt to boost economic growth.
As the nation tries to rebuild in the aftermath of COVID-19, investors show subtle signs of regained confidence to start businesses and buy real estate. Experts predict the lingering effects of the pandemic may take a few years to dissipate. But the government is in full swing to bring the economy back to its pre-lockdown status. The result of this is a series of monetary stimulus and a lower interest rate.
In July 2020, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka set the SDFR at 4.5% and the SLFR at 5.5%. This aims to help the economy spring back from the crisis. When the interest rates are lower, your credit card, overdraft, and other loans’ servicing charges reduce. This lets you enjoy a higher disposable income as a consumer and makes it possible for you to spend more on goods and services. As a result, you help businesses to recover. This is the simple idea behind the government’s current monetary policy.
A potential investor looking for houses for sale or a commercial lease is likely to benefit when the above factors are favourable. Currently, all these dynamics have merged to create the perfect time to invest in Sri Lanka’s property market.
A comparison of housing loans and advances in Sri Lanka
- Commercial Bank of Sri Lanka – Commercial Home Loans at 10.5% interest rate, offered up to 20 years. The loan value is between Rs. 500,000 and Rs.50 million.
- Hatton National Bank (HNB) – Shanthi Home Loans at 10% interest rate, offered up to 25 years.
- Sampath Bank – Sampath Sevena at 12.5% interest rate, offered up to 25 years. The maximum amount you can borrow depends on your repayment capacity. To buy or construct a house, up to 70% of the value is given as a loan. Meanwhile, up to 75% of the bill value is offered for renovations.
- Cargills Bank – Cargills Bank Home Loans at 13% interest rate with a repayment period of up to 20 years. The maximum loan amount to buy a house, construct a house, purchase bare land and renovations are 75%, 80%, 40%, and 75% of the total value respectively.
- DFCC Vardana Bank – Sandella Housing Loans at 10.5% interest rate with a repayment period of up to 20 years. The maximum amount you can borrow depends on your repayment capacity. You can borrow up to 75% of the value of purchasing a house.
- People’s Bank – Jaya Niwasa at 10.5% interest rate with a repayment period of up to 20 years. Loan amounts up to 75% of the property investment value.
- Seylan Bank – Seylan Srinivasa at 10.5% interest rate with a repayment time of up to 10 years. The loan value is between Rs. 500,000 and Rs.100 million.
- National Savings Bank (NSB) – Ge Dora at 8% interest rate with a repayment period of up to 30 years. Age, purpose, repayment capacity, and collateral determines the loan value.
- Amana Bank – Amana Bank Home Finance offers up to 70% of the property value as a loan, offered up to 15 years.
- Bank of Ceylon (BOC) – BOC Housing Loan Scheme at 11% interest rate with a repayment period of up to 25 years. The loan value is based on the borrower’s repaying capacity.
- HDFC – Kedella at 12.5% with a repayment timescale of up to 30 years. The loan value starts from Rs. 50,000 up to 70% of the house value if purchasing, and up to 80% of the value if it’s a house construction.
Source: IdeaBeam.com (2020)
Banks are eager to make their products more appealing to clients. They offer an array of benefits to remain the first choice among the public. E.g. online loan applications, lower service costs for financial products such as BOC personal loans, and even HSBC credit card offers. But none of these rival the power of lower fixed or floating exchange rates. It can be a game-changer to encourage higher investment.
Why ikman Property?
“90% of all millionaires become so through owning real estate.” – Andrew Carnegie
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