Lebanon Businessnews News

Real estate activity still slipping
Construction in Beirut down by half
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The real estate market is still on a downward trend as its main indicators have continued to slip in 2013.

The overall number of transactions dropped seven percent to 69,198, in 2013. The value of these transactions totaled $8.7 billion, falling 4.5 percent. The average value per transaction consequently became $126,000. Foreigners’ shares from sales transactions remained stable at 1.8 percent of the total.

Construction permits, which measure the future activity in the market, are also in a slump, however dropping at a slower frequency. The number of permits went down by seven percent to 16,644. Permits for area of construction dropped by 11 percent to 12.9 million square meters.
Mount Lebanon took the lion’s share of permits as the area that will be built according to these permits represented almost half of the overall buildup area (47 percent). It is followed by the North, with 2.5 million square meters. Activity in the Bekaa picked up slightly and is now almost similar to that of the South. Beirut is ranked last. The number of construction permits also remained highest in Mount Lebanon, followed by the South, the North, Nabatieh, Bekaa, and Beirut.

Construction activity in Beirut fell by half. Abdullah Saleh, owner of Brokers XP, which covers Beirut, said: “The first half of the year went well especially when Syrians had good purchasing power and drove real estate sales. The situation during the second half worsened and demand for Beirut practically stopped.” Saleh said that clients who wanted to buy in Beirut changed their minds now preferring to stay in rentals or to buy outside the capital.

Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Jan 28, 2014
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