Real Estate

Is high rise living a solution to land scarcity?

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The other day a friend of ours asked what options were available if he couldn’t find affordable land to build his house. Under the present conditions in Port Moresby land is scarce.  Anyone thinking of buying land in suburbs that are a dream to many homeowners should be prepared to fork out a sizeable chunk of their savings as well as finance from a financial lender.

One option another friend suggested was the possibility of buying an unit in an apartment located in a desirable suburb.

So effectively, if potential homeowners can’t get across the city, the other option is to head up buying apartments as their principal place of residence.

This isn’t an unrealistic option and certainly not one that has been tried because there are apartments with homeowners using it as their principal place of residence.  The problem with this suggestion is that apartments don’t come cheap either.

If one was to purchase an apartment in a desired suburb in Port Moresby, the cost would be within the vicinity of K900,000 to K1,500,000 as the lower category.  But these prices are for units that are targeted at the professional to executive category. There is really nothing on the market for the middle to low income earners and developers are reluctant to build apartments for this category.

The other thing with apartments and it’s nothing to do with price is the suitability for a PNG lifestyle. Most Papua New Guineans tend to think of apartment living for the executive and the communal lifestyle Papua New Guineans are accustomed to is not entirely suitable for apartment living.

So where does that leave our friend?

He doesn’t have much of a choice but to stick to what’s currently on the market. He can either continue to save until he has enough funds for a deposit of a home loan or he can find something a little cheaper outside the desired suburbs and a fair way from work.

There is customary land in the desired suburbs which are inhibited by settlers or remain vacant and undeveloped.  The Government should consider developing this land for low to middle income homeowners like our friend. But like anything in Papua New Guinea, there is uncertainty as to when this will happen.

If you’re interested in apartments, take a look at the range on here