continue to drop
Fares: Numbers are not so bad
The activity of the real estate sector dropped for the second consecutive year, according to figures published by the Real Estate Registry at the Ministry of Finance.
The number of transactions totaled 58,000, down by 15 percent compared to 2014. The value of transactions reached $7.6 billion, falling by 14 percent. “With everything happening around us, the drop in the numbers is not that bad,” said Massaad Fares, Chairman of the Syndicate of Real Estate Association in Lebanon (REAL). Not all deals were bad, according to him. “The buyers are getting good value for their money and are landing very good deals for very interesting conditions,” he said. The market’s correction is a positive and a healthy indication.
The highest number of transactions was recorded in Baabda, which represented 23 percent of the total. The value of transactions reached $1.8 billion. “It is normal that Baabda saw the most transactions because it is closest to Beirut, very accessible, and still offers good prices,” he said. Areas like Jumhour, Loueizeh, Bsous, and Hadat listed apartments at affordable prices.
Metn ranks second with 7,500 transactions at an estimated value of $1.5 billion. It is directly followed by Zahle (7,400), which was the only caza that witnessed stability in its activity. The value of transactions in Zahle amounted to $287 million.
Kesrouan and the North came next with 7,200 and 7,000 transactions, respectively. The value of transactions was estimated at $1 billion and $364.5 million, respectively.
Around 6,200 transactions worth $497 million were recorded in the South. Nabatieh followed with 5,600 transactions totaling $272 million. Beirut came last with 3,900 transactions. The value of property sales is the highest, reaching $2 billion.
The average value per transaction remained stable, rising only one percent to $131,200. “The support of the Central Bank incentives has helped hold the market steady and keep it from falling even further,” Fares said.
Fares expects 2016 to resemble the year before it, but with more flexible prices. “There will be more good deals, especially for large apartments and at more discounted prices,” he said.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Jan 28, 2016