Japan’s Belluna expects Sri Lanka property pick-up
ECONOMYNEXT – The Belluna group, based in Japan, will invest 450 million US dollars in Sri Lanka’s tourism and property industries. The group said that once the economic situation improves, Sri Lanka’s real estate market will boom once again.
"We expect the current economic slowdown to be of a temporary nature and once the business picks up an upward trend, the real estate market too will shift into high gear," Belluna Lanka (Pvt) Ltd Managing Director Hiroshi Yasuno said in Colombo.
The current conditions are ripe for buying, Yasuno said.
Local firms have said that the real estate market is currently stabilising, after experiencing rapid growth over the past two years.
A slowdown in the economy, along with a political crisis had dented market confidence in large investments such as real estate, local firms said.
Belluna, a listed firm in Japan, is investing in Sri Lanka through the local subsidiary Belluna Lanka.
It has invested 450 million US dollars on a 300-room city hotel, a 190-unit luxury apartment project and a mixed-development project in the capital Colombo, and a 57-room seaside resort in Galle.
Yasuno said the recent rupee depreciation against the dollar has hit many developers who are pricing their apartments in dollars, while its ‘447 Luna Tower’ apartment project is priced in rupees and has not seen a price escalation.
Colombo still has room for apartment development, despite lower demand from locals compared to other countries, he said.
"As investors, we see potential in developing luxury apartments in Colombo," Yasuno said.
"Compared to other regional capitals, Colombo is yet to see people considering apartments as their home."
He said as urban migration intensifies, and Sri Lanka attracts more expatriates with the development of the Colombo Financial Centre, demand for apartments will grow. (Colombo/Mar14/2019-SB)