Land prices in urban areas surged by 300% in Nepal

A study shows that price of land in urban areas has surged up by 300 per cent within last seven years in Nepal. According to a study conducted by UN Habitat show that land transactions have doubled in 2009 as compared to 2008.

The realty, especially, lands are considered as relatively safe investment due to poor investment climate — thus more investment has been pouring in the sector, the study that was released amid a ceremony here today said.

The study aims to provide practical suggestions to minimize the problem of unmanageable housing in Nepali urban areas.

“The government is revising its national housing policy such that it is increasing investment in projects that will improve the living standard of people,” informed Dip Basnet, secretary of Ministry of Physical Planning and Construction.

“We are also looking for alternative measures to make our programmes more effective,” he added informing for the betterment of rural housing government is conducting People’s Housing programmes at Saptari, Siraha and Kapilvastu.

The study also shows the urbanisation process in Nepal is nominal at 14 per cent as compared to other South Asian nations; on the other hand, urban population increment rate is higher at seven per cent.

“Thus, the cities are getting more unmanageable as increased population are centralised in limited cities,” according to the study. “Of total urban population 31 per cent are living in Kathmandu valley alone.”

It said that the urban poor population do not have access to the programmes being mobilised to manage and expand the housing facilities. The report also suggested strengthening of financial institutions, easy home loans, and standard procedures for registering, selling and purchasing of land along with providing subsidies to the class for the construction of standard accommodations. They have also suggested some policy level changes for the purpose.

The report also points out the lack of proper expansion of basic facilities such as roads, drinking water and sanitation in accordance with increasing urbanisation.

The ministry’s joint secretary Suresh Prakash Acharya also pointed out that the absence of land consumption policy fertile and arable agriculture lands in urban areas are used for housing purposes. “Moreover, the houses built are also not up to a standard making them more vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes,” he said, adding government need to be strict about maintaining the standards.

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