Kurunegala is the second largest contributor to the national GDP (gross domestic product), with the second largest government teacher base and highest road kilometerage. With a trade economy that functions independently, whereas many other areas mainly rely on tourism or their close proximity to Colombo, Kurunegala is strategically located at the crossroads of key internal routes in the country.
Sharing new research and insights into the strategic importance of Kurunegala to national economic growth and community development, CBH Lands, a leader in real estate in Sri Lanka and the market leader in Kurunegala, hosted a special media briefing on 8 March 2022. During the briefing, CBH Lands Founder Chairman Mr. Yatila Wijemanne and Deputy Founder Chairman Ms. Manjarie Tissera explained the historic, territorial, and scientific aspects of real estate investment in Sri Lanka and opportunities for investors through its “#MyHomeKurunegala” initiative.
Over the past three years, Kurunegala has demonstrated an annual land price appreciation of 60%, according to CBH Lands Intelligence, and lands continue to be an appreciating asset that can be easily valued.
Elaborating on this further, Mr. Wijemanne noted that in the recent years, a significant drive for real estate investment for residential and commercial purposes has been recorded, especially due to the low interest rates as well as all-time low housing and home loans offered at present.
In response to a question regarding the environmental impact of the real estate industry, Mr. Wijemanne explained: “Generally, we have to go through a minimum of around 12 government bodies for each project, starting off with the Local Authority, Provincial Council, Urban Development Authority, and then the government with an analysis. From there we are referred to the Water Board, Central Environmental Authority, and Road Development Authority. We have a separate team deployed to handle all approvals.”
Ms. Tissera pointed out that Kurunegala is the only district in Sri Lanka that requires a developer licence, which she opined should be the practice in other districts, as that would result in other rivers and such being protected as well.
Drawing attention to the “Real Estate Decision Triangle”, put together by CBH Lands Intelligence, it was mentioned that investor decisions are based upon the three factors of budget, space, and location. Noting that generally real estate investment is a compromise, especially in Colombo and Gampaha Districts, where one of the factors are sacrificed, Kurunegala poses no such threat at the moment.
While noting that national development programmes and marketing campaigns such as those implemented in the Hambantota District are highly beneficial, both Mr. Wijemanne and Ms. Tissera emphasised that the responsibility of the development of Kurunegala also falls on the shoulders of developers, residents, and businesspersons of the district.