Category

Investment.

DHA Lahore.

May 24, 2019

If you earn in USD, now is the time for you to invest in DHA Lahore

The idea of making real estate investments under current market conditions may appear impractical to some. After all, investment volume is currently down in all societies and even in neighborhoods that were once the favorites among investors. However, the fact remains that the constant slip in prices seen during the last three years make the current market rate quite attractive for investors, especially if you are an overseas Pakistani. Coupled with the recent rise recorded in the value of USD against Pakistani Rupee, the deal sounds even more promising.

Why pick DHA Lahore?

The society provides some of the safest investment options you can opt for in Lahore. Furthermore, property value here has successfully managed to avoid a crash-like situation in the absence of active investors since July 2016.

This speaks volumes about the strength DHA Lahore holds in terms of safeguarding your investment. Based on this strong resistance, property experts are optimistic that as soon as the market condition becomes conducive for investment once again, DHA Lahore will be among the first few projects to register recovery and further growth in rates.

Market update

This might interest you to know that property rates in DHA Lahore phases that are ready for the end users haven’t really dropped. The lack of investment activity only hindered the market price ascent but this, too, turned out in the society’s favor as it retained the buyers’ interest.

Nonetheless, prices did drop in the phases that aren’t yet ready for the genuine buyers. This includes Phase VII, Phase VIII and Phase IX to some extent. Like mentioned earlier, the drop hasn’t been stark. There is however an upside to the current market condition: due to a lack of active investors, the buyers get a good chance to negotiate on rate. This essentially means that you can close the deal at rates much lower than the quoted price.

Quite surprisingly, property prices in the comparatively low-priced DHA Phase XI, also known DHA Rahbar, haven’t plunged much. The lack of investment activity in other DHA phases rather increased the demand for DHA Rahbar plots. In the meanwhile, this phase has also served the investors (essentially the non-filers of income tax returns) who were reluctant to invest in property having market value higher than PKR 4 million.

Where to invest in DHA Lahore right now?

If you have a smaller budget, you can purchase the recently launched 5-marla files in DHA Rahbar. Their market price is PKR 3 million. In USD, it is an investment of slightly over USD 20,000.

Those looking to play big and score even bigger returns on investment should go for DHA Rahbar 4-marla commercial file. You can purchase one for PKR 17 million or USD 114,709 (as of May 20, 2019). One year ago, the same PKR 17 million would have cost you approximately USD 147,000.

On top of this wonderful bargain, purchasing these commercial or residential files in DHA Rahbar also promise sound rewards in the short term as the DHA has announced to hold a ballot to allocate plot numbers soon. The authority is yet to announce the final date but the anticipation in this regard has created a higher market demand for DHA Rahbar plot files.

The latest from DHA Phase IX

While you read these lines, development work is underway at full pace in Phase IX. And the authority has no specific preference for developing any sector sooner than the rest. In other words, the pace of development work in all sectors here is even.

The authority has paced up development work on completing road infrastructure, which is almost in its final phase. The process of laying infrastructure for other facilities is also progressing steadily. From the looks of it and how committed the DHA seems about completing the development work on time, it appears that Phase IX will be ready for possession in the next two years.

This is no surprise that Phase IX has been a particular favorite among overseas investors. The strong holding power our overseas investors possess is the main reason why price drop noticed here is less stark in comparison to that recorded for plots in Phase VII and Phase VIII.

Based on how the market fared for Phase IX plots before the new taxation system was introduced in July 2016, property experts believe that this phase is marked to become the most pristine of all DHA phases in Lahore. So naturally, this should also be on your investment list if you wish to make use of the current low rate and the higher USD value against Pakistani Rupee.

The recommended plot size in Phase IX is 1-kanal because it is the prime plot category. Currently, you can purchase a good location 1-kanal plot in a price range of PKR 10-12.5 million or USD 67,461 and USD 84,326. The deal sounds quite convincing.

While Pakistan’s economy struggles to stand on its two feet, the world closely watches the situation. If have a slightest idea about the role Pakistan is to play at international economic fronts and how the country has survived circumstances worse than these, you will not think twice and make an invest decision right away.

read more

Types of Property Taxes and their Definition.

October 8, 2018

Along with income tax and sales tax, there are a number of taxes that one ends up paying as a citizen of Pakistan. However, the most confusing by far has to be the host of property-related taxes which can be overwhelming and confusing for any new entrant to the property market. Following is your guide to the kinds of property taxes and when they are applicable in Pakistan.

 

The Different Kinds of Taxes

Following are the most important taxes that are applicable on property in Pakistan:

  1. Property Tax
  2. Capital Value Tax
  3. Stamp Duty
  4. Withholding Tax (or Advance Tax)
  5. Capital Gains Tax

 

Property Tax

Property tax is a provincial tax levied on the annual rental value of the property, based on Urban Immovable Property Tax Acts of the respective provinces. The tax rates differ between provinces. However, it is either a flat rate, or a percentage of the annual rental value. Depending on the provinces, the rate of taxation can differ depending on whether the property is rented or self-occupied.

 

Capital Value Tax (CVT)

The Capital Value Tax (CVT) is another provincial tax and is paid by the buyer at the time of acquisition of property. As the name suggests, it is payable on the capital value of an acquired asset. It is paid when the said asset – in this case, immovable property – is acquired.

If it is a case of inheritance or a gift from spouse, parents, grandparents or siblings, CVT will not be levied. In cases where it is a gift or exchange, or where property value is not mentioned in the transaction, the value of the property is going to be calculated according to DC Rates.

It must be noted that while previously the CVT was levied only in urban areas, according to a news report, it will now also be levied on rural areas that have been developed as well.

 

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty is another tax that is levied by the provincial government and is paid by the buyer at the time of acquisition of property. It is basically a tax required on most legal documents under the Stamp Act 1899. Stamp duty is levied at 3% of the DC rates of the property.

 

 

Withholding Tax (WHT)

According to a notice issued by the FBR, Withholding Tax (WHT) is a federal tax payable by both buyers and sellers if the value of property is great than PKR 4 million. WHT is paid by the seller only in case he is selling the property within three years of buying it.

It basically acts as an advance on other taxes and, hence, is also adjustable into the tax liabilities of the buyer and against the CGT of the seller. It has to be paid at the time of registration of the sales deed. Following are the rates of WHT:

 

By Buyers

For non-filers, 4% of the FBR rates.

For filers, 2% of the FBR rates.

 

By Sellers

For filers, 1% of the FBR rates and none if sold within five years of purchase.

For non-filers, 2% of the FBR rates.

 

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

The Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is a federal tax payable by the seller. When the seller makes profits on selling property (capital asset), it is the profit (capital gain) which is taxed, hence the name. According to the Finance Act 2017, CGT is levied only when the property is sold within three years of its purchase. The rate of taxation is 10% for the first year, 7.5% if sold during second year and 5% if sold during the third year. These gains are to be calculated according to the fair market value, based on FBR’s valuation table. Any property held for more than three years will not make the seller liable for payment of CGT.

These are some of the most common taxes that are applied to the property in Pakistan. If you have any question about these, ask away in the comments.

read more

Your Guide to Property Tax in Pakistan 2018.

October 1, 2018

Whether you’re moving to Pakistan or already there, you might well be tempted to look into buying property in the country. If you do so, you’ll find that property tax is a concern for Pakistani citizens and foreign residents alike. Here’s all you need to know about property tax in Pakistan.

What is property tax in Pakistan?

Property tax is technically any tax that you pay because of property that you buy, sell or own. They include sales taxes that you pay when the purchase is made and maintenance taxes that you pay every year.

In Pakistan, the system is no different: a variety of taxes are payable on property. Here’s a look at each of the main ones.

Who has to pay property tax in Pakistan?

Everyone who buys, sells or owns property in Pakistan will probably have to pay property tax, although the details of which ones you’ll have to pay – and exactly how much they are – vary considerably. The rules also vary between the different provinces of Pakistan.

There have been many changes to Pakistan’s tax policy in recent years, both at the federal level and in the provinces. Part of the reason for this is that a very low percentage of Pakistani residents file income tax returns – which is also why certain taxes are charged at different rates, depending on whether or not you file your taxes. What this means is that you should check all the information carefully with a local professional who can advise on the latest rules in your area.

It’s possible for foreigners in Pakistan to buy property, although there are administrative hurdles in the process. As for tax: expats are no different from Pakistanis in terms of their tax liability, although it’s worth remembering that you only need to pay tax on income gained in Pakistan – foreign income isn’t taxed by the Pakistani authorities. So even if you’re not earning any income in Pakistan, it’s still worth filing a tax return with 0 income as that will save you from having to pay many other local taxes.

What kinds of property taxes are there in Pakistan?

Property taxes can be broadly put into two groups:

  • Sales taxes, which are paid when a property changes hands
  • Maintenance taxes, which are paid regularly

In Pakistan, there are examples of both. Here’s an introduction to each of them in turn.

Sales taxes in Pakistan

Sales taxes are the taxes you pay on property when you buy or sell. There are numerous relatively small sales taxes in most Pakistani provinces:

  • Stamp duty
  • Capital value tax
  • Registration fee
  • Town tax
  • Withholding tax

However, you should bear in mind that there are substantial differences between the various provinces in Pakistan, so you should check exactly which taxes are payable in the area in which you’re buying, as well as how much they are. The below is a general guide but many details can vary substantially.

For example, in Punjab – the most populous province – there was a major overhaul of the property tax system in 2017, in which stamp duty, capital value tax and the registration fee were merged together into one tax which is now known overall as stamp duty.

Most of the above-mentioned taxes are for the buyer to pay, but withholding tax may be paid by both buyers and sellers. For sellers, capital gains tax is also a consideration.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is a tax to pay the province. It’s generally 3%, and it’s paid by the buyer.

You might find, for instance in Punjab or other urban areas, that the ‘stamp duty’ fee also encompasses other payments due, including capital value tax and the property registration fee. In that case, the figure payable might well be more than 3% – it could be 5% instead.

Capital value tax (CVT)

In your province, CVT may end up falling under the banner of stamp duty, but if not, you may have to pay it separately. It goes to the central government. CVT is generally a tax of 2% of the property value, paid by the buyer.

You might not have to pay it if your property is under a certain size.

Registration fee and town tax

Both of these fees are 1% of the property value. They may or may not be payable separately, depending on where you are. In Punjab, for instance, the registration fee is part of the stamp duty bill.

Withholding tax

A withholding tax is one that’s paid directly to the authorities, without the involvement of a second party.

  • Both buyer and seller are liable for paying withholding tax on a property transaction
  • Buyers have to pay 2% if they file an income tax return, or 4% if they don’t
  • Buyers only have to pay withholding tax if the property is worth more than Rs 4 million
  • Sellers have to pay 1% if they file a tax return, or 2% if they don’t
  • It’s paid to the federal government rather than the local authorities
  • You have to pay this tax at the same time as you pay the rest of the transaction fees

Withholding tax is an ‘advance tax’, meaning that it can be claimed back when you file your tax return – you can deduct this from the rest of the taxes you owe.

Capital gains tax

Capital gains tax is paid on the profit you make on a property – that is, the amount you sell it for, minus the amount you paid for it originally.

  • The rates for capital gains tax have changed considerably in recent years, so make sure to check the latest figures.
  • For the 2017-2018 tax year, the rate to pay varies between 0% for properties acquired before July 2013, and 20% for properties acquired since July 2016. The 20% is only for those who don’t file a tax return. Otherwise the top rate is 15%.

Summary: property sales taxes

Property worth over Rs 4 million Property worth under Rs 4 million Buyer Seller Cost
Stamp duty 3%- 5%.May be higher if it includes other fees.
Capital Value Tax 2%. May be part of stamp duty bill.
Registration fee 1%. May be part of stamp duty bill.
Town tax 1%
Withholding tax ✓ seller only Buyer: 2% or 4% Seller: 1% or 2%
Capital gains tax 0%- 20% of profit

 

Maintenance taxes in Pakistan

As well as taxes to pay when buying or selling a house, home ownership comes with a tax burden as well. In Pakistan there are two principal property maintenance taxes to be paid regularly:

  • ‘Property tax’
  • Rental income tax

‘Property tax’

All the taxes discussed on this page are property taxes, but the specific tax called ‘property tax’ is a maintenance tax you pay your province on a recurring basis.

  • The amount of property tax you have to pay varies between the provinces
  • It might be at a flat rate, although in some provinces it’s taxed progressively.
  • In some places, it can be as high as a 25% flat rate of the annual rental value
  • In Punjab, for example, the rate is 5% of the annual rental value
  • This is a tax paid by the owner of the property
  • Payment times and methods are dependent on the province

Rental income tax

In Pakistan, you have to pay tax on any money you gain from the property, so if you rent it out there’ll be tax to pay on the rent unless the gross amount from the rent doesn’t exceed Rs 200,000.

  • Rental income is taxed progressively, so the rate you pay depends on the total amount you’ve received.
  • The rate goes up to 20% of the gross amount of rent received.
  • For larger totals, there’s also a fixed fee.
  • For instance, if you earn between Rs 600,000 and Rs 1 million, you pay 10% plus a fee of Rs 20,000.

What other fees are there with my property in Pakistan?

Taxes are an important part of the fees you’ll need to pay when buying or selling a property, but there will certainly be other costs to bear in mind as well – above and beyond the actual buying price. These might include agency fees and legal fees, and will always vary depending on the details of the sale.

Are there any property tax deductions I can claim in Pakistan for 2017-2018?

The percentage of people in Pakistan who pay income tax is notoriously low, but there are good reasons to still file your taxes, especially if you’ve recently bought or sold property.

  • You should be able to claim your withholding tax back, as part of your tax return.
  • As mentioned above, the rate of withholding tax that you pay also varies depending on whether or not you submit a tax return – if you do, you pay less.
  • Check with your local province to see if there are further deductions you can claim on taxes.

When do I pay my property taxes in Pakistan?

The tax year in Pakistan runs from the 1st of July to the 30th of June: income tax returns should be filed after the tax year ends. Sales taxes should generally be paid when the rest of the sales fees are paid.

How do I pay my property taxes in Pakistan?

The methods of payment for sales taxes largely depend on your province, as they all have their own system for collecting the tax that’s due. You should find out about how to pay your taxes as soon as you get involved in the property market.

For income tax, you may well be able to pay online.

Paying property taxes online

Whether you’re paying income tax or a sales tax bill, you should consider paying online if you can: it can save a lot of hassle and give you greater peace of mind.

If you’re not in Pakistan 100% of the time, you might regularly find yourself trying to figure out how to deal with finances in multiple countries, especially if you need to transfer a bigger amount of money into Pakistan. If you transfer money into or out of Pakistan via a bank, you may lose around 4-5% to the banks because of the markup they put on the exchange rates. And that’s not to mention the fixed fees they often charge as well.

Taxes are never easy, but there’s no need to make them harder than they have to be. That’s why it’s worth finding out all you can about property tax in Pakistan, and checking the best way to pay it.

Good luck!

read more

Smart Pick: Property, Stocks or Gold?.

August 7, 2018

The most common words that come to one’s mind when someone says the word investment are stock, property and gold. But how does one define which is a better and wiser investment to make and for how long? Read on to find out these details as we help you de-clutter your thought process regarding the most common forms of investment.

Gold

The biggest advantage of investing in gold is by far its liquidity. It offers the fastest conversion to cash among all the forms of investment. Gold was, and is, most commonly used for the purpose of saving for marriages. While it was once the most sought after form of investment, it has now lost that privilege. The last five years have not been particularly kind to this form of investment as it has seen a decline of 19.96% according to a report. Moreover, gold prices have seen wild fluctuations during the same time period, making investors uneasy with this option.

Stocks

The next most common option for investment are stocks. Volatile in nature, the stock market did perform well up till early 2017. Since then, however, the market has seen a downward trend, according to a report. With new and more ambitious projects becoming a part of the economy, a slight increase is expected. However, at the same time, the repayment variables such as taxes, inflation rate, and loan repayments also factor in on the volatility of the stock market.

Currently, the stock market is not a preferred option for a relatively smaller investor. However, investors with bigger budgets and larger timelines may find this option fitting.

Property

Pakistan’s property sector has shown promising signs since the slump in prices due to taxation. In fact, just in the last year alone, the realty sector saw an increase of 2.08%. These trends reflect the increase in the price per square foot, and the interest genuine buyers and investors have shown, not to mention overseas investment in property. This, along with the recent developments in the realty sector due to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), significantly impact the investment and buying atmosphere in a positive manner.

This not only impacts the main industry, but also affects its ancillary industries. This results in an economic activity that brings about a positive change and raises the standard of living of the general populous.

Over the years, the most promising investment option has been property. It has seen an impressive and sustained growth for quite some time now, despite facing dips and a deceleration of price trends. Both stocks and gold have experienced unpredictable fluctuations.

Given the data and the trends, and the fact that it is your hard earned money, it is suggested that you do your homework before jumping into any form of medium- to long-term investment. Having said that, based on the information given above, the most stable form of investment seems to be in the property sector.

How has your investment in either of these options fared? Share your experiences in the comments below

read more

What Naya Pakistan means for Pakistani Real Estate.

July 30, 2018

With an unprecedented showmanship by the Pakistani people, a new government has been recently brought to power in the General Election 2018. This foreshadows a lot of changes that will take place in the coming few months. The new government’s policies are bound to have an effect on the real estate market of Pakistan. Read on below to see what this “Naya Pakistan” means for the Pakistani real estate market.

Post 2016, property taxes reduced the prices of the overall real estate market. While the market had barely recovered from this, the rupee got depreciated against the dollar and became one of the worst performing currencies in Asia. The people and the market had just gotten used to the idea of an increased cost of living when the elections came up.

All these back to back events created a scenario where it became increasingly lucrative for expats to invest and earn exponential ROI. Based on historical trends, property prices always fall during election year and increase in value post-election. This time around, because of the political party in power, the positive changes are going to be huge since they have to deliver on their mandate.

This means that investor friendly atmosphere will be created especially for overseas Pakistanis looking to give back to their homeland. Therefore, with the decrease in the property prices and the decrease in the value of the Rupee against the Dollar, this is an ideal time to invest in Pakistan.

One of the main benefits of investing in Pakistan right now is that you can get property in prime locations of Pakistan – something that even overseas Pakistanis used to give a second thought to pre-2016. Locations like DHA, Gulberg, Ferozepur Road and others have now opened up to a lot of people and a lot of people have already taken advantage of such an opportunity.

Some of the areas one can consider are as follows.

DHA Lahore

As always, DHA Lahore happens to be the most renowned, reliable and respected of the property options. You can make an investment in any phase of DHA in Lahore for small amounts considering the general economic scenario.

Commercial Plots DHA Lahore

This is one of the best times to invest in a high return commercial area such as DHA Lahore. These would give a high rental yield of around 7-8% per annum.

LDA City

Another option for the people is LDA City. This is a rapidly developing area with a lot of local investors taking interest in this area. The file for a 1 Kanal plot start from PKR 35 Lacs, for a 10 Marla plot it begins from PKR 25 Lacs and for a 5 Marla plot, the file price starts at PKR 15 Lacs.

Gulberg, Lahore

New mixed use development projects guarantee annual rental yield of 7-8% making it a highly lucrative option for overseas Pakistanis looking to jumpstart a business or gain rental income on a yearly basis.

The process is fairly simple and can be completed in a matter of days. It is the right time to make the investment. With the dollar price increase, the taxes on the properties reducing the price, this is the ideal time for overseas Pakistanis to put their money to work.

All you need is an investment of a few thousand dollars and you can start earning decent annual income based on your area of investment.

These are some of the areas where overseas Pakistanis can invest and earn despite the overall property market being extremely slow. Talk to us in the comments section below if you are interested in making a purchase or if you have any other areas you want us to highlight.

read more

Land Buying 101: Your Quick Guide To Buying Land.

July 9, 2018

Buying a house or an apartment is a task in of itself but buying land, is a whole new ballgame. It requires sharp acumen, great insight and immaculate timing. Often times it ends up paying far more than what a normal house or apartment would. In order to avoid that, this is your Land Buying 101.

If you are interested in buying land, read on below and let Saiban Associates help you out by highlighting factors that you need to keep in mind when out hunting for the ideal sweet-spot to build your future home on.

Zoning and future plans

When buying a house, the zoning is not an issue however when you buy a vacant plot, it could potentially make or break the value of the land. Before buying a piece of land, visit the Lahore Development Authority’s office and seek out details about the legality of the land you intend on purchasing along with the details about zoning and future plans of the area the land is situated in. another proactive thing would be to ask about the plans of the surrounding societies or areas as well since they can be a pretty good indicator of the future value of your land.

Restrictions

This becomes especially applicable if you are buying government land. You need to pay attention to the deed and see if there are any restrictions regarding the sale, purchase and usage of the land. Often times a particular piece of land is intended for a specific purpose and cannot be used for anything else such as agricultural land. It cannot be used for commercial or residential activity. Make sure that you read through the documents.

Accessibility

Regardless of whether you are new to the realty market or a veteran, you would be aware of the saying: location, location, location! This is absolutely true. One of the major aspects of this is the ease of accessibility associated with the piece you are buying.

If your property is on the main road, it would have no issues with regards to the access. If it is in a rural area or an undeveloped area, make sure that you factor in the cost of access or a road within the amount. Ask around and visit the local development authority to ask about accessibility options.

Utilities

The other most important thing to keep in mind is the provision of utilities. In large planned developments, it is the responsibility of the developer to provide the amenities such as gas, sewerage, electricity, water, security and so on. If you are not buying the property in a planned society, you may need to do these on your own.

Development cost

One of the major things that people often forget is to include the land development cost in their finances. A lot of people thing that buying land is the end of the story. However, this is not the case. If you want the land to sell at a profit, some amount of development needs to take place on it. This means you need to factor in that cost in your financials. This would include the cost of amenities, making the land usable depending on its condition and so on.

Make sure that these things are catered to and you will hit a goldmine in terms of potential return.

So, these were some of the most common things that need to be kept in mind when you go out to buy land. Have you faced any of these scenarios? What are some of the other things that you include in your list? Talk to us in the comments section below.

read more