Pakistani houses are getting smaller in size
Old houses in Pakistan are of large sizes. Low population density, vast land area and joint family culture were the major factors to promote the large size house construction. But things are different now, as Pakistani population is more than 220 million and prices of even small houses are sky-high. Due to many unsold large houses, now developers are forced to build small housing units due to good salability. Let’s discuss the factors that impact house size.
High population density
Population density is the number of people living on per square kilometer. Population density has great impact on house prices. Houses are smaller in the countries where population density is high like Japan, Hong Kong and Britain. On the other hand, houses are larger in the countries where population density is low like USA, Canada and Australia. High population density is one of the major reasons of shrinking house sizes in Pakistan.
House size has direct correlation with price. High property price means small size house, whereas low price means large size house. City houses are more expensive but are smaller in sizes, whereas rural houses are cheaper in price but larger in size. The other factor is the low sale volume of large houses which forces the developers to build small houses to bring prices at more affordable level. High inflation in Pakistan is another cause of shrinking house sizes.
High maintenance costs
Large houses have more maintenance cost and this cost is getting out of control due to declining currency value and rising wages. Due to high maintenance costs, people are moving to smaller properties. On the other hand, small houses have low maintenance costs and even can be maintained without maids. High maintenance cost is another factor of shirking houses in Pakistan.
Lifestyle change has also direct impact on house size in Pakistan. In older days, people were used to live in joint family system. Multiple families in joint living need large house. But now people prefer privacy and love to live separately. Single family needs small house. This lifestyle shift is one of the major causes of shrinking house size in Pakistan.
Higher taxes on construction of large houses
In order to save the valuable land and discourage the large house size construction, government has imposed taxes on larger house construction. According to FBR Tax rates for map approval, one has to pay 20 PKR per SQ FT for 3 Marla houses, 40 PKR per SQ FT for 6 Marla houses and 70 PKR per SQ FT for houses larger than 6 Marla. Higher construction cost is also reducing the house size in Pakistan.
Small houses are good but do we really need shoe box houses?
Small houses have many advantages as they save valuable land for agricultural and commercial uses. But we don’t need shoe size house construction in Pakistan like 1.25 Marla. Room size and ventilation system is pathetic in these houses. We need new laws that ban construction of houses less than 2 Marla. Pakistan really needs housing revolution to provide decent living for citizens. We should construct apartment buildings that have flats of 1-4 bedrooms, so that everyone can get flat according to their requirements. This will save the valuable land and also bring the prices to more affordable level.