Diaspora PLACES

THE 10 BEST CITIES FOR FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS

From affordability to the right amenities, there are a range of factors that make a city first-time homebuyer friendly. Global property portal Lamudi lists the best cities in emerging markets for those looking to purchase their first home.

Querétaro, Mexico

Cities Cover MexicoThis up-and-coming city on Mexico’s real estate scene is one of the best places for living and for buying your first residence. With an astonishing architectural legacy, as well as great job opportunities and a quiet lifestyle two and a half hours away from Mexico City, Querétaro is one of the best places to buy your first home and start your own family. The average price for a house in this city is US$165,500.

Lahore, Pakistan

Cities Cover PakistanLahore is the second largest metropolitan city in Pakistan, with a rich history and culture. It is considered the country’s economic, political, educational and entertainment hub. In recent years, the real estate sector of Lahore has expanded rapidly, with an increase in migration to the city from the surrounding rural areas. The city of Lahore offers several attractive and lucrative investment opportunities for first-time buyers, including Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Bahria Town, Paragon Housing Scheme, Cantt and Gulberg.

Depok, Indonesia

IndonesiaDepok has witnessed much development in recent years, including toll access to the capital and a commuter railway line connecting Depok to the Greater Jakarta Area. The city also has good educational facilities including reputable universities, as well as recreational sites such as Margonda Street which is full of restaurants and shopping centers like ITC Depok, Depok Townsquare and Margonda City Mall. The average price for a house in this area is 8,777,778 Indonesian Rupiah per square meter (US$660 per sq m).

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Cities Cover BangledeshDhaka should be top of the list for anyone who is buying property for the first time. While property prices here are high in comparison to other cities (the average apartment price in Dhaka is about 7,784,588 BDT or US$100,350, compared to 4,428,000 BDT or US$57080 in the seaport city of Chittagong), Dhaka is the most in-demand location with house-hunters. This is largely because developers have focused their attention on the Bangladeshi capital, offering property-seekers the widest choice available. The city is also the country’s commercial hub and is the first choice for many job-seekers. It is home to the top shopping malls, schools, universities, hospitals and restaurants, as well as the best infrastructure and other amenities.

Accra, Ghana

Cities CoverAccra, the capital of Ghana, is located on the country’s coast and has been ranked one of the fastest growing cities on the continent by the African Development Bank. The city is full of contrasts, with lively neighborhoods to cater to the young at heart and serene areas for those looking for some peace and quiet. With a range of affordable and luxury homes on offer, as well as world class retail and entertainment centers, Accra is the place to live for any couple looking to buy their first home.

Machakos, Kenya

Cities Cover KenyaMachakos City is one of the best places in Kenya to find an affordable home. Areas in the city that are in demand include Syokimau, Kitengela, Mlolongo and Athiriver. Kitengela is the most searched area in Machakos for houses, with property here costing between eight and 15 million Kenyan shillings (about US$80,000 to $150,000), according to Lamudi data. For those looking to rent, a three-bedroom townhouse in this area will cost Kes. 45,000 per month (about US$450).

Kampala, Uganda

Kampala In the northeast of Kampala and about 12km from the city center, the suburb of Kiwatule is Lamudi’s top pick for first-home buyers. With the expansion of the city, this area has experienced rapid growth. The town is popular with house-hunters because it offers affordable housing and amenities such as hospitals, schools and shopping centers. Rental prices in Kiwatule range from 500,000 to one million Ugandan shillings (US$147-350) for a self-contained house. The area also has a convenient transportation system, with the Kampala Northern Bypass offering easy access to the city. Because of the fast growing nature of the town, Kiwatule has attracted several business centers, transforming it into a lively and highly sought-after neighborhood.

Doha, Qatar

QuatarThis is the still fastest growing city in Qatar, as well as the economic center of the country and one of the emerging financial centers in the Middle East. While Doha’s neighborhoods are quiet during the day, its streets come alive at night. Expatriates can buy property in specific large-scale developments in Doha, such as The Pearl-Qatar, West Bay, Lagoon, And Al Khor Resort Project. Going rates in The Pearl vary between QR 12,000 to QR 15,000 (US$3300 to $4100) per square meter, between QR 5500 to QR 6500 ($1510 to $1785) per sq m in Najma and Mansoura, and between QR 7500 to QR 8500 ($2050 to $2330) per sq m in Al Sadd.

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

JeddahThe principal gateway to Mecca, Jeddah welcomes thousands of Muslims from all over the world every year. Residents can enjoy a mix of traditional culture and modern enterprise, as the city is slightly less conservative than strictly religious Riyadh. It enjoys a pleasant climate, has convenient access to well-kept beaches and is one of the most affordable cities to live in. Gasoline prices are some of the lowest in the world, costing 0.50 Saudi Riyal (13 US cents) per liter. Apartments in the city cost between 3500 and 6000 SR (about US$933-1600) per square meter, and between 1800 and 4800 SR (about US$480-1280) per sq m outside of the center.

Amman, Jordan
AmmanJordan’s capital city abounds in educational, tourist and health institutions, with new projects continually transforming the city’s skyline. Amman is the eighth most visited city by tourists and business travelers in the Middle East and Africa, as well as the region ninth highest recipient of international visitors. The city also boasts one of the best healthcare systems in the Middle East, with both private and public medical facilities providing a high standard of care. Apartment rates on the west side of the city are between 450 and 1200 Jordanian dinar (about US$635-1990) per square meter, and between JOD 250 and 450 (US$350-635) per sq m in the east.
Author :  Fidel Owusu Amoah | Content Manager- Lamudi Ghana

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