Former Miss Teen Nepal Aayusha Karki has given up a career in modelling and the movie business to become an estate agent.
According to a report in The Times, the 18-year-old took decision out of choice as she felt there was a lucrative career for her in real estate management and property dealing.
House prices are booming in Kathmandu, even as people flee the impoverished and increasingly lawless countryside for the relative safety of the city.
The cost of land in the capital — perhaps as famous now for its chronic pollution as its ancient palaces, temples and stupas — has trebled in six years and shows no sign of slowing.
Speculation and a shortage of space have helped to stoke the housing market but developers say that the main driving force has been a tide of migrants to Nepal’s only big city.
“People came to Kathmandu because it was the safest place to be during the [civil war],” said Prakash Bajracharya, a director of Shangrila Housing, the property group whose flats Karki is selling.
Shangrila Housing hopes that the anxieties stirred among the middle class by the problems of Nepal represent a golden opportunity.
Next month the company will begin constructing Sun City, a fortified 60 million pound township on the fringe of Kathmandu. The self-enclosed and heavily guarded gated community will be the first of its type in the country.
One thousand flats will be built in ten towers that will house about 4,000 people.
Residents of the eight-acre (three-hectare) complex will have access to a club house, a spa, a gym, tennis courts, a swimming pool, a jogging track and a grocery store. Other luxuries will include guaranteed uninterrupted power and water supplies.
Chinese and Indian contractors will begin building the complex next month but one essential element is already in place: a perimeter wall that will be patrolled by a squad of guards and equipped with CCTV to keep out hoi polloi.
Karki insists that the luxury pads are selling themselves. She says that she has found buyers for more than 50 herself, even though they will not be available for at least three years.