…despite moratorium on commercial transaction 

Lhakpa Quendren 

Sarpang—The prospects offered by the Special Administrative Region (SAR) in Sarpang has driven the land price even with a moratorium on the sale and purchase of land.

Given the prospects offered by the SAR, many say that brokers have entered the market triggering a surge in the price of land. Landowners and individuals engaged in land transactions, who spoke to Kuensel, say that while landowners have already increased prices, in many instances, it was brokers who have exacerbated the price hikes.

According to sources, land prices surged due to unregulated land brokerage, with some brokers increasing prices by up to 100 percent. According to Sarpang residents, land buyers prefer to invest in the four gewogs of Tareythang, Umling, Chhuzagang, and Serzhong.

A land broker, who has land for sale at Tashiphu, Serzhong, said that while the immediate benefits are uncertain, the location provides several advantages for the future.

These mandarin orchards, mostly covered with forest and located about an hour’s walk from the road, now cost Nu 25,000 per decimal. Six months ago, the price ranged between Nu 5,000 and Nu 8,000 per decimal.

Currently, except for transactions involving inherited land for families, there is a moratorium on sale and purchase of land. However, both buyers and sellers are actively engaged on the land business.


Land price comparison

Since the announcement of developing Gelephu as a SAR, GeSAR, land price has shot up overnight. Until 2022, the prices in other gewogs of Sarpang have maintained a slight rise.

Land prices in the core town have reached Nu 1 million to 1.5 million per decimal, an increase from over Nu 500,000 per decimal in 2021. Some eight years ago, the prices were between Nu 50,000 to Nu 60,000 per decimal.

Sudden hike in land prices has created pricing inconsistencies in Gelephu

The current price in UV1 ranges from about Nu 600,000 to Nu 800,000 per decimal, depending on the location. Land prices in UV2 are about Nu 600,000 per decimal, while UV3 ranges from Nu 300,000 to Nu 350,000 per decimal.

Land prices near the extended thromde area at Zomlingthang and Pelrithang in Gelephu gewog are Nu 320,000 per decimal. In 2021, land in these locations was priced at Nu 150,000 to Nu 160,000 per decimal.

However, a landowner in Gelephu claims that the current market rates in Gelephu are not consistent and vary depending on the individual. “I am willing to sell a plot at Zomlingthang at Nu 150,000 per decimal.”

In Dekiling’s Kaflay village, the price is about Nu 75,000 per decimal, whereas it is about Nu 220,000 per decimal at Dechenpelri (Edi) in Samtenling gewog.

Land price in Tareythang and Umling ranges between Nu 55,000 and Nu 80,000 per decimal, depending on the location. In Norbuling, Serzhong, the price is Nu 110,000 per decimal, while it varies from Nu 25,000 to Nu 65,000 per decimal in Tashiphu.

Among the 12 gewogs in Sarpang, the lowest prices are observed in the two distant gewogs, Jigmecholing and Chhudzom, which are not part of the planned project.

In certain areas like in Samkhar chiwog in Jigmecholing, the price has surged to about Nu 65,000 per decimal from about Nu 20,000 per decimal last year. Land in Lhayuel, Chhudzom, costs over Nu 20,000 per decimal, but it is priced higher near the gewog centre, with some claiming about Nu 50,000 per decimal.

The government compensation rates for Sarpang range from Nu 2,767.33 to Nu 47,044.80 per decimal for dry land (Kamzhing), Nu 2,490.60 to Nu 16,465.68 per decimal for wetland (Chhuzhing), and Nu 3,804.58 to Nu 47,044.80 per decimal for orchards.