KARACHI: Pakistanis purchased 6,106 properties during 2015 as compared to 5,079 units last year, an increase of 20 per cent, Dubai Land Department (DLD) figures showed on Thursday.

Around AED 8 billion ($2.178bn) worth of properties were purchased by Pakistanis during the year as compared to AED 7.588bn ($2.066bn) last year, up 5.43pc.

Media statements that the government was investigating Pakistani investments in Dubai property market seemed ineffective due to the rise in purchases.

According to the DLD’s report, the overall real-estate investment exceeded AED 135bn in 2015 (55,928 investors) as compared to around AED 109bn (41,715 investors) a year ago.

Pakistanis have invested AED 24bn in Dubai property market since 2013.

Some brokers were surprised with the trend as they believed that the money flow from overseas (particularly from Dubai) was pushing up the real estate in Pakistan.

Owner of Parekh Estate in Clifton, Abdul Wahab Parekh, said businessmen invested more in Dubai property market followed by politicians and industrial tycoons.

Most businessmen, perturbed by imposition of 0.03pc and 0.06pc withholding tax on banking transactions, have pulled out their money from the banks and parked it in the real-estate of both Dubai and Pakistan, he said.

“In Dubai, supply of real-estate is currently higher than demand causing downward trend in prices,” he opined.

On holding of Expo Dubai 2020, Parekh said that the event may drive up the prices of rentals.

Another broker in Karachi said that a huge chunk of money that goes in the Dubai property market comes from the overseas Pakistanis.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2016