Real Estate Market : Tangible Slow down – April 2012

The Real Estate Market is pretty quiet nowadays. A regression in the both the number and value of transactions is clearly perceptible, and the stagnation of prices confirm the trend.

Local and regional uncertainties do not help the reboost of the sector.

The great Beirut area witnesses a downturn in the sale of apartments that have been constructed in 2007 or 2008. As a matter of fact, the number of real estate sales operations has dropped by 11.9% in 2011 compared to 2010 and even slightly inferior to 2009. Sales of big surfaces properties (over 530 m²) are almost null whereas the apartments of 200 m² have more or less maintained their rhythm and trend. Sales transactions to Arab foreigners have dropped by 20.3% in comparison to year 2010 and 7% in term of value.

The number of construction permits has also witnessed a slow down of 23% in 2011 compared to 2010. Average increase over the last seven years had reached 16.4%, this according to the Global Property Guide.

However this situation does not worry the major players in the market who see in the situation a period of rest for consolidation purposes and to avoid a brutal drop before resuming the upward trend.

As far as prices are concerned, the category of apartments mostly impacted is the high price and luxurious category.

It is also interesting to underline the new growing trend to build apartments of surfaces varying between 100 to 110 m² that attract a big part of the middle class, and that is growing stronger.