Rising property prices are surely a reflection of the country’s growing real estate industry. Aided by technology, broadened vision, greater interests and foreign investments, the real estate sector is fast becoming an agent of growth across the country.

Despite its largely positive economic impact, a strong real estate market is not favorable to all. For buyers, it means higher prices that require a larger sum of investment capital.

Property prices go up every year, so not everyone can afford to own house in posh residential localities across Pakistan. Thankfully, there is a way around the conundrum. The thriving residential rental market offers many a chance to enjoy living a quality residential community at a fraction of the cost of owning a house.

Owing to a relatively small-sized down payment, access to a larger pool of amenities like gyms and pools, as well as zero maintenance costs, the trend of renting houses in Pakistan is becoming increasingly popular. According to statistical data from www.zameen.com – the country’s largest online property portal for real estate – in the first eight months of the year, the average rate of renting a 5-marla house across Pakistan has gone up by 10%, up from PKR 40,863 in January 2015 to PKR 45,138 in August.

However, average rents for 10-marla houses remained stable, seeing little change from the PKR 79,363 demanded in January 2015 to PKR 78,985 being demanded nowadays.

On the other hand, houses measuring 1 kanal saw a mammoth hike of 21% in the said period. The average rates shot up to PKR 247,596 in August from an average of PKR 204,601 in January, depicting both a heightened demand and an increasing return on investment.

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Rents of 2-kanal houses, which have little demand in the residential rentals market, remained somewhat stable over this period. The average rates changed little from the PKR 320,000 mark they were in January.

Several factors, like locality, contract terms, landlord’s attitude, amenities, fittings and durability, determine both the price and rent of a house. Whatever be the purpose, a prospective buyer or tenant must remain mindful of all such factors and be extremely careful during the house hunt.

While owning a house remains a true blessing in Pakistan, renting provides a viable substitute to many who want to enjoy the good life but do not have pockets that run much deep.