Over 25 acres of land for sale on social media pages alone in  June

Ugyen Penjor C

“Land for sell at dagana bazaar

31 dm

Per dm 30000.

Reason for selling going abroad.

Interested leave the comments or inbox.”


This is a typical advertisement on social media’s “buy and sell” pages these days although only a handful state the reason for parting with their land.

The 13-decimal land is a part of the 98 plots measuring between 13 and 36 decimals advertised for sale. All together, 25 acres of land was put up for sale on Facebook pages in June alone. Kuensel visited 32 active social media pages to estimate the total land for sale from June 1 to 30.

Paro had the highest share of land for sale with 0.78 acres in June this year, followed by Chukha, Sarpang, and Thimphu. Only one plot is for sale in the Thimphu thromde with a price tag of Nu 2.9 million per decimal. However, those in the land business said there are many plots for sale in the Thromde and its outskirts that are not advertised on social media.

Why are people selling?

Obviously for money. But Australia is also featuring as one of the main reasons.

“I have incurred a huge debt in sending my son to Australia five months ago,” said a seller. “I want to sell my land to clear the debts and also to start a new business,” said the land owner from Mewang gewog, Thimphu who bought a plot in Khasadrapchu when he retired from service.

A seller from Tsento, Paro who advertised to sell 20 decimals stated the reason for selling as “going abroad.” The father of two daughters is planning to pay off the loan he borrowed when sending one to Australia and to send the second daughter soon. “I have 49 decimals to sell, since there are no buyers, I am breaking it into smaller plots and selling them,” he said.

Although Kuensel could not verify independently, some said Bhutanese with permanent residency permits in Australia are investing in properties in Australia. “That is why they are selling landed properties and even ornaments here,” said one.

Are there buyers?

Kuensel managed to talk to 12 land owners, only two managed to sell – one in Paro and one in Tsirang. The landowner in Paro had 10 plots to sell at Kichu. His advertisement on Facebook is six-months old.  “There are no buyers,” he said.

A Babesa landowner tried selling his 13-decimal plot since January. He brought down the price from Nu 2.1M to 1.4 a decimal. “A dozen people came to check my plot, none was serious,” he said.

Investing in land is no longer a trend like before when everybody aspires to go abroad, according to real estate agents. “Sending children abroad has become the priority.”

One agent in Thimphu said that they used to sell two to three plots in a month in the past. “We haven’t sold a single in the last four months.”

Agents also said that there is not much land for sale in the capital city or it is too expensive. The Chief Executive Officer of a Real Estate firm in Thimphu said that there is no money with Bhutanese. “Without working in the US or Australia for a decade, not many could buy land in the Thromde area,” he said. His clients were all returning from abroad or living and working overseas.  “More than 80 percent of my clients are returnees from Australia or currently residing there,” he said.

Following the trend of Bhutanese with Australian PR selling property at home, the agent is planning to open a branch in Perth, Western Australia.