Seeing value opportunities in Sri Lanka

It’s uncomfortable  talking about real estate opportunities in the context of what happened here in late April but the impact on the boutique hotel and villa market market is significant and so worth considering. As ever, tough times can bring opportunities.


Tourist arrival numbers, relative to recent years, have dropped sharply. May and June are typically quiet(er) months but hotel owners we speak to report occupancy levels of around 20%-30% for July and August – peak season months that had been delivering occupancy of 70-80%.


We’re optimistic those numbers will improve relatively quickly and, indeed, there’s evidence of returning volume but the backdrop is challenging…

Our (summary) take on the Sri Lankan property market

For some time there’s been a neat narrative told of Sri Lanka’s propery market.

The ending of the war in 2009 revived both local confidence and international interest; an increasingly affluent middle class is now driving demand; a burgeoning tourist industry has hiked the market for holiday accommodation; recent elections have shown the country on a steady democratic path.

That story’s starting to feel a little dated.

A look at rental yields on Sri Lankan villas

A couple of days ago I came across some old analysis I’d done looking at likely rental yields on Sri Lankan holiday villas.

Though by no means totally scientific, I found the numbers interesting to re-read. I’d looked at 10 villas all located along the island’s south coast between Galle and Tangalle. All the properties were publicly marketed for holiday rent and so I could easily allocate potential income.

A property investor's reading of the 2016 Budget Proposals

Sri Lankan property-related law and tax regulation has been back and forth over the last 20 years; especially with regard to the investments of non-Sri Lankans.

There’s a general sense, though, that the current Government is friendlier to foreign investment and involvement than the last, both in property and in the Sri Lankan economy more widely. 

The 2016 budget proposals tend to back that view. Our notes here on the key points – ten of them.