Expert Interview: Syed Khurram Gillani of Estate 4 U

Expert Interview

Syed Khurram Gillani 
CEO: Estate 4U (Real Estate Consultant’s) sits down for a chat with Estate 4 U CEO Mr Syed Khurram Gillani to take his views on the ins and outs of Lahore’s real estate market Lahore’s property market is quite eventful these days as a number of developments have recently taken place, chief among them the balloting of Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Phase IX and the announcement of the construction of Lahore Ring Road (LRR)’s southern loop. Developments such as these are likely to make Lahore’s property market even more exciting in future.
In order to analyse Lahore’s realty market in detail, interviewed Estate 4 U Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr Syed Khurram Gillani. We are grateful to Mr Gillani for taking the time to sit down with us and enlighten us on the important aspects of Lahore’s realty sector.
Mr Gillani started his career in the property market in 2000 in Lahore from Shaha Estate as the sole proprietor of the firm. He started Estate 4 U around 2 years ago and today Mr Gillani’s firm is celebrated as one of the leading real estate agencies in Lahore.
Mr Gillani started his career in the property sector right after completing his education and pursued it as a profession because he found certain business-related charms in the real estate sector. DHA Lahore has balloted Phase IX (Prism 9). What advice would you give to people who now have confirmed plots there?
Syed Khurram Gillani: I would advise people to hold their plots in DHA Phase IX until possession if they have the holding power to do so. Phase IX is going to be the best phase in DHA’s history. Be it DHA Karachi, DHA Islamabad or even DHA Lahore, Phase IX (Prism 9) is set to emerge as the most beautiful one, in which the authority will offer the best amenities it has ever offered in any of its developments.
Some people give higher rating to DHA Lahore Phase VIII, but in my opinion, Phase IX will outdo Phase VIII in many ways. DHA might take another 10 years to complete infrastructure development and hand over possession in Phase IX (Prism 9) and I would suggest people wait until then to reap the true benefits the phase has to offer. I also believe people living in Phases VI, VII, and VIII will shift to Phase IX after its completion. The Planning & Development Department is set to develop the southern loop of Lahore Ring Road. How will this project influence the housing projects along its route in your opinion?
SKG: When any housing scheme gets a better approach, sale-purchase activity in that particular scheme witnesses a surge. So, in my opinion, all the societies along LRR’s southern loop will see a rise in their respective values. You can consider DHA Lahore here as an example. The residents of DHA are reaping the benefits of LRR. If you surveyed LRR’s traffic from Azadi Chowk to Phase V interchange, you would find that 80% of the traffic would comprise DHA residents.
I believe any society that gets a better approach as a result of the LRR’s southern loop will grab the investors’ attention, and therein lies the project’s true value for the real estate market. Which areas are good for short- and long-term investment in Lahore?
SKG: I would obviously suggest DHA Lahore for both short- and long-term investment. You might think I am being biased about DHA, but the fact remains that in DHA people do not face litigation issues and they see excellent appreciation with complete peace of mind.
And if you want me to be specific, I would say DHA Phase VII is good for short-term investment. DHA handed over possession in Blocks Q, S, T, U and V of Phase VII four months ago, and the developer will soon provide possession in the remaining blocks. And for the long term, I recommend Phase IX (Prism 9) for the reasons I have highlighted above.
The residents of Lahore face land-grabbing issues in Lahore Development Authority (LDA)’s housing projects and many other societies, but DHA is safe for investment as well as living.
Since the inception of DHA Lahore in 1979, people have not seen any problems here, which is the main reason I recommend it for both short- and long-term investment. DHA or Bahria Town, where would you suggest overseas Pakistanis invest, and why?
SKG: Bahria Town is a one-man show. Though DHA does not offer as many facilities as Bahria Town, it is also true at the same time that the former provides investment security, which is why I would suggest overseas Pakistanis invest in DHA.
In Bahria Town, the allottees are often compensated with alternate plots because of litigation issues and investment there usually becomes more of a gamble. Also, when Bahria Town launches a new project, it forgets its previous projects. In DHA there are no such issues. For instance, the launch of DHA Gujranwala and DHA Multan did not affect DHA’s market in Lahore at all. What would you suggest the government do about property taxes?
SKG: The government has increased property taxes, but the DHA Estate Agents Association is already in talks with the government to decrease these property taxes. Since I am a member of the association, I would like to refrain from commenting on this matter. Fair enough. Can you please tell us how a real estate agent can stand out from the rest and emerge as a leading property consultant in your opinion?
SKG: I believe real estate agents should always meet the commitments they make with property investors, buyers, sellers and even with other agents if they want to shape a successful career and emerge as a leading realtor in the market. Only in this way can a real estate agent be able to develop trust in the market. What part does play in the development of the property sector? What benefits do you get from the portal’s services?
SKG: is playing an excellent role in the development of the property market. If any individual wants to get information about any development, they know is where they’re going to find it. This portal connects real estate buyers with sellers and provides an effective marketing platform to the real estate agents.

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