The real estate market, after experiencing waning interest of investors over the last few years, is picking up again. Fresh investment is flowing in from both local and overseas Pakistanis, in residential as well as commercial segments. According to the Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD), its members have initiated more than two dozen residential-cum-commercial projects in 2011 in Karachi alone. Leading builders and land developers say that three things are fuelling fresh investment in real estate and construction industry. Overseas Pakistanis are hedging against the risks to growth in their incomes by making investment in the real estate back home, explains one of the partners of a famous group of land developers and builders. But more importantly, an enterprising middle class that flourished during low economic growth period of last four years has also realised that by investing in the real estate in the current high-inflation period it would be a gainer in the coming years. Besides, stable prices of land and properties are at the root of all fresh investment from households and from business class. With an estimated requirement of more than eight million housing units across the country, big groups of land developers and construction companies have no problem about the demand. The issue is timing and these groups believe the time may have come for a rebound in land and property market. “As soon as we came up with our residential-cum-commercial housing scheme in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, our offices were chocked with interested parties” said owner of a relatively new construction company who is building a multi-storeyed plaza at Gulshan Chowrangi in Karachi. A few kilometres away in North Karachi industrial zone, an entire textile mill building has been demolished to pave way for construction of a high-rise commercial plaza. A big cement manufacturing company which initiated the scheme has already hired staff for initial ground work, employees at the project told. The New Nazimabad housing scheme (closer to North Nazimabad in Karachi), for low and middle-income people announced a couple of months ago, is also said to be progressing well.