In Karachi, grow trees to increase your property value
KARACHI: This might be the best time to own property in Karachi as prices continue to soar due to improved security in the city and with little investment in trees, the value of your property can grow significantly. Trees that provide shade, bring down temperatures and clean the air are also capable of making your estate aesthetically pleasing and more valuable.
Dr Noman Ahmed, chairperson of NED’s Department of Architecture and Planning, says using trees and promoting them in design is central to architectural code and norms as there is a direct connection between property value and trees.
“Properties adjacent to public parks and green belts have high value because the visual beauty and soothing quality of trees make the places around them pleasing. Greenery in neighbourhoods is a desirable parameter for those looking for properties,” he says.
Muhammad Moazzam Khan, environmentalist working with WWF-Pakistan, says houses with trees, plants and gardens have higher sale and rent price. “A friend had a house in DHA with politicians and bureaucrats as his neighbours but the value of his house was 50% higher than the other houses in the street because around one-third of his plot was dedicated for greenery with a variety of trees and plants,” Khan shares
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The WWF official says while the architecture of the house was also very classy, the presence of greenery made the whole deal even better. “My friend sold the house and the new owner has still maintained the green space because he knows it brings value to the estate,” Khan says. Those living in apartments, he says, can also have green spaces by dedicating their balconies for plants. “My brother and sister-in-law who live in Gulistan-e-Jauhar have more plants in their apartment than me in my house,” he says.
Real estate agents admit that houses with bigger and well-maintained lawns fetch better selling prices.
Saleem Ghouri, a real estate agent, agrees lush greenery in the surroundings raise property value notably. “There’s no replacement for the beauty that comes with having trees in your neighbourhood and that affects property prices,” he claims.
The property dealer says because trees reduce pollution and create a peaceful environment, home buyers prefer neighbourhoods that provide such a setting. “A house located on a road filled with tall green trees is immediately attractive,” Ghouri says.
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Standard of living
WWF’s Khan believes humans yearn for greenery because they have lived among trees for many years before moving to cities and that is their natural habitat. “Now that we have left the pastoral setting, we want to have a bit of it in our urban houses,” he says.
Elaborating the impact of trees in a neighbourhood on the lifestyle of the residents, NED’s Ahmed says the early 2000s revival of public parks and green spaces resulted in more people spending time outdoors. “Big and small parks, which for the longest time remained abandoned and uncultivated, were redeveloped and a drastic change in lifestyle was witnessed in those areas. Where there was no concept of morning jog or spending evening outdoors, we saw people came out in big numbers and spent longer amount of time in these spaces,” Ahmed shares.
He says the revival of green spaces also had a positive impact in Karachi’s low-income areas. “There was a famous park in Lines Area but it was neglected like those in the rest of the city. When it was redeveloped, spending time there became an integral part of the neighbourhood’s daily life and people spent time in the space from early morning to late evening,” Ahmed states.