Realtors yesterday demanded a reduction in the registration cost of properties which they said was hampering the growth of the sector.
The Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) made the appeal at a press conference ahead of its annual fair scheduled to kick off in the capital tomorrow.
Apart from the amount paid as the price of a flat or plot, a customer has to spend at least an additional 15 percent of it as registration cost.
“If the registration fee is reduced to 6 to 7 percent, more people can afford to buy an apartment,” Liakat Ali Bhuiyan, first vice president of the REHAB, told journalists at the National Press Club.
He claimed that real estate accounts for around 15 percent of the country's gross domestic product and it would increase if the government cuts the registration fee.
Bhuiyan said they intend to provide quality housing to people at reasonable prices to resolve housing problems of city-dwellers. “We are trying to provide low cost apartments so that mid-income people can manage a suitable residence bearing expenditures similar to house rent,” he said.
He also spoke of a low-interest housing loan for government officials introduced last year, saying that it would help the sector grow.
However, he said, the high interest rate of home loans and a lack of access to long-term loans for all segments of society were the main barriers to resolving the housing crisis of the country.
Kamal Mahmud, vice president of the REHAB, said the sector received around Tk 950 crore-worth booking orders last year. “Besides, we sell readymade apartments regularly,” he said.
The four-day REHAB fair will be organised at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar and stay open from 10:00am to 9:00pm.
It will feature some 202 stalls of entities, including some 27 realtors, 20 building material manufacturers and 14 financial institutions. Visitors will have to pay Tk 50 for single entry and Tk 100 to enter for a maximum of five times.
The money collected would be spent behind people in distress and fund a raffle draw, through which some 10 prizes would be given out, including a private car and a motorcycle. Besides, the REHAB will run a raffle draw every day, courtesy of US-Bangla Group.