All real estate traders had to shut their businesses in early March after the coronavirus outbreak. Although the country's economy resumed functioning from June, the real estate sector has taken more time to revive. A lot of customers are contacting us now.
Single-digit loan facility, an opportunity to invest undisclosed money and a drop in registration costs have led to a spike in demand amongst buyers. The government has focused on the budget to facilitate recovery of the housing sector. Many buyers and entrepreneurs now want to know how the undisclosed income is being used. As a result, amid the ongoing Covid crisis, there has been a turning point in the housing sector. However, we are not in a position to specify the recovery rate.
The sector has started to turn around, but we are still seeing partial recovery due to some crises. Non-government lending agencies have stopped disbursing loans to the housing sector during this pandemic, and the REHAB issued a letter to the relevant agencies to mitigate the issue.
Since we personally reached out, a few companies have benefited from the government's stimulus package. Almost all the companies are being able to collect instalments for the flats sold earlier. However, traders have not been able to take potential buyers on project site visits to sell new flats.
Housing companies are working out several ways to leverage different initiatives, including government incentives and legal aid. Provided the coronavirus outbreak does not spike further, we hope to return to normal business in January 2021.
Alamgir Shamsul Alamin is the president of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh