From affordability to the right amenities, there are a range of factors that make a city first-time homebuyer friendly. Pakistan’s best real estate website, Lamudi.pk lists the best cities in emerging markets for those looking to purchase their first home.
Lahore is the second largest metropolitan city in Pakistan, with a rich history and culture. It is considered the country’s economic, political, educational and entertainment hub. In recent years, the real estate sector of Lahore has expanded rapidly, with an increase in migration to the city from the surrounding rural areas. The city of Lahore offers several attractive and lucrative investment opportunities for first-time buyers, including Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Bahria Town, Paragon Housing Scheme, Cantt and Gulberg.
Dhaka should be top of the list for anyone who is buying property for the first time. While property prices here are high in comparison to other cities (the average apartment price in Dhaka is about 7,784,588 BDT or US$100,350, compared to 4,428,000 BDT or US$57080 in the seaport city of Chittagong), Dhaka is the most in-demand location with house-hunters. This is largely because developers have focused their attention on the Bangladeshi capital, offering property-seekers the widest choice available. The city is also the country’s commercial hub and is the first choice for many job-seekers. It is home to the top shopping malls, schools, universities, hospitals and restaurants, as well as the best infrastructure and other amenities.
This is the still fastest growing city in Qatar, as well as the economic center of the country and one of the emerging financial centers in the Middle East. While Doha’s neighborhoods are quiet during the day, its streets come alive at night. Expatriates can buy property in specific large-scale developments in Doha, such as The Pearl-Qatar, West Bay, Lagoon, And Al Khor Resort Project. Going rates in The Pearl vary between QR 12,000 to QR 15,000 (US$3300 to $4100) per square meter, between QR 5500 to QR 6500 ($1510 to $1785) per sq m in Najma and Mansoura, and between QR 7500 to QR 8500 ($2050 to $2330) per sq m in Al Sadd.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
The principal gateway to Mecca, Jeddah welcomes thousands of Muslims from all over the world every year. Residents can enjoy a mix of traditional culture and modern enterprise, as the city is slightly less conservative than strictly religious Riyadh. It enjoys a pleasant climate, has convenient access to well-kept beaches and is one of the most affordable cities to live in. Gasoline prices are some of the lowest in the world, costing 0.50 Saudi Riyal (13 US cents) per liter. Apartments in the city cost between 3500 and 6000 SR (about US$933-1600) per square meter, and between 1800 and 4800 SR (about US$480-1280) per sq m outside of the center.
Jordan’s capital city abounds in educational, tourist and health institutions, with new projects continually transforming the city’s skyline. Amman is the eighth most visited city by tourists and business travelers in the Middle East and Africa, as well as the region ninth highest recipient of international visitors. The city also boasts one of the best healthcare systems in the Middle East, with both private and public medical facilities providing a high standard of care. Apartment rates on the west side of the city are between 450 and 1200 Jordanian dinar (about US$635-1990) per square meter, and between JOD 250 and 450 (US$350-635) per sq m in the east.