Lebanon Businessnews News

Registered property deals
hit highest level in a decade
Growth driven by anticipated

rise in official exchange rate

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The number of real estate transactions registered at the Land Registry and Cadaster jumped by 34 percent to around 110,000 in 2021, its highest level in the last decade.

Source: Land Registry and Cadaster

Sales started to slow down in the second half of 2021 and dropped sharply in the last quarter, according to Massaad Fares, Secretary General of the Real Estate Developers Association (REDAL). Most sellers want to be paid in cash (fresh) dollars and very few are accepting checks, he said. “Buyers are asking for large discounts while sellers are not willing,” Fares said. The slowdown follows a boom when investors were looking for a safe haven for their savings amid the rapid collapse of the lira exchange rate and the risks looming over the banking sector.

Fares said that a large part of registered transactions consist of old sales contracts, pending deals, and such operations as property successions, and mortgage releases. “The increase in the number of transactions in 2021 was mainly driven by a rush of property owners to register their transactions at the official exchange rate of LL1,507 to the dollar as they anticipate a rise in the official rate,” he said. “They are seizing this opportunity to achieve huge savings on real estate taxes and fees.”
Date Posted: Feb 10, 2022
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