The COVID-19 pandemic is severely affecting the country’s real estate and housing sector that contributes a significant percentage to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The construction industry is also closely connected with rod, cement and ceramic, among 458 sub-sectors and all of these sectors are victims of the slowdown. Real estate projects are now being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic as supply of construction materials has stopped. The real estate properties are now beyond buyers’ reach.
The coronavirus pandemic has put this sector in a total halt, jeopardizing investments worth billions of taka and threatening around six million jobs and 458 backward linkage and allied industries. Around 3.6 million people, mostly the family members and dependents of the employees and workers, will be affected by the setback in the real estate and backward linkage industries which are at risk of collapse. The sub-sectors including brick, sand, rod, cement, construction, glass, aluminium, cable, lighting and many other large and small industries directly linked to the real estate sector are also on the brink of collapse due to a slump in demand.
The unprecedented disruption caused by the crisis is depriving the government of huge revenue from this sector. However, not only in Bangladesh, the real estate and housing sector has been worst-hit worldwide. According to US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, in the typical economic recovery, a resurgent housing sector helps fuel reemployment and rising incomes. So, the entrepreneurs in Bangladesh have demanded policy support and working capital facilities to overcome the challenges.
As the negative impact on this sector affects the entire economy, the realtors asked for special measures from the government to save the sector. They also sought budgetary initiatives from the government and facilities for investing undisclosed money to help it revive.
According to REHAB President, if people are allowed to invest undisclosed money for the next five years then it will add value to the GDP significantly. The government should take a timely decision in this regard.