Complex Made Simple

Lebanon’s real estate deals down 18 per cent

The number of real estate deals in Lebanon reached 12,948 by the end of the first quarter of 2015, reports UAE-based Aliqtisadi citing recent figures.

According to statistics revealed by the General Directorate of Land Registration and Cadastre, this represents a decrease by 18.23 per cent, compared to 15,834 transactions during the same period last year.

The figures show an improvement in the real estate sector’s performance during last March, where the number of real estate deals climbed to 5,417, compared with 3,980 transactions in February.

Furthermore, the value of real estate transactions in March 2015 rose to $620.06 million, compared to $478.32mn in February.

According to the weekly report issued by Credit Libanais and the weekly bulletin of Byblos Bank, the value of real estate deals recorded a decrease by 20.82 per cent YoY to $1.62 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2015, compared with $2.05bn during the same period in 2014.

The value of real estate deals fell to $125,363 during the first quarter of 2015, from $129,763 in the first quarter of the previous year.

It is worth mentioning that the foreigners’ share from the sale of real estate increased to 2.37 per cent by the end of March 2015 from 1.69 per cent at the end of 2014.

Lebanon’s real estate sector remains inactive due to the presidential vacuum in the country after the term of Michel Suleiman came to an end on 25 May 2014.

The real estate expert, Raja Makarem, says the “real estate market will continue its hibernation due to the absence of a political solution to the current crisis, which will enhance investors’ concerns, and thus rigidness in demand as they wait for the crisis to ease.”

According to the central bank’s recent report, Lebanon’s debt now comprises 143 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts Lebanon’s economy to accelerate from one per cent growth in 2014 to 2.5 per cent in 2015.