Sri Lanka Property Investment: Real Estate Market Overview and Investment Opportunities.

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A short distance from the southeast tip of India is the island country of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has long been a tourist destination because of its location along the water routes from the West to East Asia. It is a biodiverse country with many different types of flora and fauna as well as a variety of landscapes. The country has opened several pathways for foreigners to invest in Sri Lanka property.

Sri Lanka property is naturally attractive because of beautiful natural surroundings, closeness to the beaches, and low cost of living. Even more attractive is the set of recent government initiatives to avail land to foreigners for purchase or development. Projects have been started to identify, partition, and clear land with the goal of achieving investment by either foreign or local investors. One of these initiatives also includes proposed legislation to be presented in 2012 that will relieve foreign investors of the 100% tax that has typically been imposed on them.

Another feature that makes Sri Lanka Property attractive is that has a little over 1300 km of coastline that is ready for development. The target would be the developer of resort and leisure living properties. Also, in order to provide more incentive for this type of developer, a new airport is under construction at the southern part of the island, Hambantota International Airport. This airport, along with developed access roads, will make it easier to travel to all of the resort areas in the region.

One of the stronger factors that make Sri Lanka real estate attractive is the fact that tourist arrivals have been consistently on the rise. There are reports that the demand has been larger than the supply of resort accommodations. In fact, the country needs a median figure of 15,000 additional hotel rooms to meet this demand.

Sri Lanka was the victim of a civil war between 1983 and 2009. Even though there was a war, property prices have been on the rise for the last 10 years. The only exception to this was when prices leveled during the global recession of 2007 and 2008. With the arrival of peace in 2009, property prices resumed their upward trend. Another reason for the rise in price is from Sri Lankans investing in property while living and working overseas. In order to recover from the war, the government has been implementing policies to make Sri Lanka attractive to tourists and investors in the leisure property market. It is no surprise that the tourist market has been increasingly improving and especially with the achievement of peace.

As mentioned previously, it has been expensive in recent years for foreigners to own property in Sri Lanka because of the 100% tax imposed on them when they purchase real estate. Recent news has indicated that this is about to change so that the government can provide more incentive for foreign investors. In 2012, the Sri Lanka government will roll out a new special land tax for foreign ownership. The figures have not been finalized but it is reported that this new tax will make owning a home more affordable for those who want to immigrate here.

The types of Sri Lanka property available include rentals, residential, leisure, and luxury condominiums. Around 10% of these properties are found on the beaches of the western coastline. The properties with the most favorable outlooks include those in the leisure and residential classes. This is no surprise since the government is implementing measures to not only boost tourism but also the population of expatriate retirees looking to purchase their retirement home here. In fact, immigration policies are quite favorable for pensioners to make Sri Lanka their retirement home.

The future of the real estate market in Sri Lanka appears bright because of two main factors. First, tourism is on the rise because the country is re-establishing its reputation as a peaceful and safe place to live. Second, the government is actively taking measures to make foreign ownership and development affordable.

People are attracted to Sri Lanka because of its beautiful surroundings and its rich history. It is no surprise that the island is covered by resorts because it is encompassed by water. Foreigners who visit this country marvel at friendliness of the Sri Lankan people and many look to make the island their future retirement home.