Iconic eyes middle market housing in Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT – Iconic Development, a property developer which had been playing high end apartment space says it is eyeing multiple smaller projects catering to a middle segment which is underserved at the moment.

"That’s the real need of the burgeoning middle class," Managing Director Rohan Parikh said.

"There’s a gap in the housing market."

"The gap exists for the middle segment. Super luxury and upper luxury is served well," he said.

Parikh, said to serve the middle gap, Iconic will be focusing on two developments, one of which is a semi-luxury apartment project priced around 20-40 million rupees.

The other is in the ‘affordable luxury’ space, with apartments priced around 10-20 million rupees.

In the bottom end, the government will have a play a role as a public service, he said.

He said Sri Lankan housing construction costs were higher than the region due to high taxes on building materials as well as rising labour costs.

Overall, Iconic is planning to commit 50 million dollars for semi-luxury and affordable luxury projects, Parikh said.

The property investments will come from a Singapore based investment vehicle, ANP, which is part of Apurva Natvar group which has affiliates in India, the Oman and Singapore, he said.





Parikh said these projects will take the form of 8-10 floor low-rise buildings, as past experience had shown high rise buildings take a longer period to both plan and generate returns.

"We feel the need right now is for quick development of smaller units," Parikh said.

The firm has already found two lands in Rajagiriya for the new developments and another land is in the final stages of acquisition, he said.

These three projects will get investments of around 30 million dollars, he said.

Iconic is currently developing the 33-floor Iconic Galaxy apartment complex with an investment of 50 million dollars, of which about half has been sold.

It has completed an older project Iconic 110 Parliament Road, which had an investment of 30 million dollars. (Colombo/Sept18/2018)

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