The private housing sector plunged into a major crisis shortly after the pandemic hit, and this happened just when the sector began turning around after several years of downturn.
About 12,000 companies in 269 industrial sub-sectors involved in the housing sector are also under a serious threat. Due to the pandemic, most of the organisations had to suspend their activities to maintain social distancing during the lockdown.
The supply of construction materials was cut off and the technical manpower as well as workers did not continue their work. On the one hand, construction was suspended, and on the other hand, clients were not paying the monthly instalments of flats.
This put the housing sector in a terrible crisis. However, due to the opportunity to whiten black money in this sector, real estate businessmen have now begun overcoming the crisis.
Several factors, including the opportunity to buy flats and plots using undisclosed money without being questioned as well as the reduction in bank loans' interest rates and giving government officials housing loans on easy terms, have been a blessing for this sector. As a result, housing entrepreneurs are seeing good opportunities as they cope with the pandemic blows. Despite the loss in 2020, all real estate owners are expecting good business in the new year.
As part of our 2021 business plan, we want to reduce flat prices by building housing units for the low-income people. However, there are fears among all traders as rod prices have gone up several times due to problems in the international supply chain. If there is no problem in rod and cement prices, we expect business to be better than usual in 2021.
Alamgir Shamsul Alamin, president of the Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh.