The suffocating housing sector might get a lease of fresh breath in a month as the government has identified some 88 units — 66 units of apartments and 22 units of houses — for secretaries and judges to rescue the sector.
The government has decided to buy 22 units of houses for judges and 66 units of apartments for secretaries and is currently preparing procurement procedures, said vice president of Nepal Land and Housing Developers' Association (NLHDA) Om Rajbhandari, who is also coordinator of the FNCCI Urban Development Committee.
"Though the number of units has been finalised, it has yet to finalise the location," he said, adding that the government is preparing the basic criteria to identify the location.
The move will also increase confidence in apartments, as according to tradition, Nepalis prefer independent houses to apartments, Rajbhandari added. "When secretaries themselves buy apartments, common people will follow suit."
The government's move is expected to not only build public confidence in the sector but also inject fresh cash in the sector that has been cash-strapped.
However, it will take a month, he said asking the government to allow all government employees to buy homes from their deposits of provident fund. "It will increase the level of social security among public servants and also reduce corruption," he suggested. "All public employees should be allowed to buy houses or apartments of their choice with a long-term EMI plan that will push the housing sector — that is currently stagnant — ahead from the current bottom levels to a recovery stage."
Though people are ready to buy houses, recent incidents have made them lose confidence in the sector.
A recent study of the central bank has also revealed that the prices of houses will pick up. "House and land prices have declined by around 30 per cent as compared to last year," the central bank survey has stated, adding that some 43 per cent developers expect prices of land and housing to go up by 15 per cent to 30 per cent."Likewise, some 40 per cent of the developers expected transactions to pick up by around 20 per cent," said the central bank’s quick field survey of Land Offices, municipalities, urban development agencies, members of district chambers, and land and housing developers in 10 major districts — Morang, Dhanusha, Parsa, Rupandehi, Kaski, Banke and Kailali — including three districts in the valley — Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur — to gauge the risks due to higher exposure of banks and financial institutions in a single sector.