Osama Bin Laden’s house, described by the US government as a $1 million mansion, has been priced by property experts in Pakistan at no more $250,000, The Guardian reports.
Two property professionals in Abbottabad, the town where Bin Laden was killed last Sunday, said that much of the US government’s description was exaggerated.
The house was built in 2005 and based on the size of the plot and recent property sales, they estimated that it would fetch no more than the equivalent of $250,000 in the current market.
After Sunday’s raid by US Navy SEALs which led to the killing of the Al-Qaeda leader, a senior Obama administration official had described the property as an “extraordinarily unique compound” in an “affluent suburb” and valued it at $1 million.
It later proved that Abbottabad is a quiet, military-dominated town, according to the property experts.
“This is not a posh area. We call it a middling area,” property dealer Muhammad Anwar, a 22-year-old veteran of the local market, told The Guardian.
But when reporters reached Abbottabad to see Bin Laden’s hideout, a number of oddities were noticed.
The compound’s thick, 15-feet-high walls were topped with three tiers of barbed wire, which set the compound apart from the rest of the neighborhood.
The courtyard surrounding the house was considerably large. Reports indicate that only a handful of people lived inside the compound and so it is unclear what the large space was needed for.
Meanwhile, census takers had seemingly not visited Bin Laden’s property. Painted on the entrance gate to most homes in the neighborhood was a note in Urdu saying that census enumerators had visited over the past two months. But Bin Laden’s house had no note.
The households that participate in the census have to give details about everyone who lives there.
The area Bin Laden lived in was built after the devastating earthquake that hit Pakistan in 2005 and killed more than 73,000 people.
(Eman El-Shenawi of Al Arabiya can be contacted at email@example.com)