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Political deadlock continues to pressure Lebanon real estate sector

Gulf investors have significantly slashed their investments since 2006

Internal political uncertainty at home and turmoil in the region continue to place massive pressure on Lebanon’s stagnant real estate sector, where there are no buyers despite the presence of a major cash portfolio.

The current political atmosphere in the country isn’t encouraging the Lebanese expatriates to buy homes at home and Gulf investors have significantly slashed their investments since 2006, a number of experts and industry sources told Al-Mustaqbal daily.

Investments in the properties sector tumbled by 40 per cent, while sales sank by 25 per cent. The number of available apartments across all cities stands at 25,000, according to Ahmad Mumtaz, the secretary-general of the Lebanese contractors’ association.

He stressed the need for a speedy political solution to the country’s deadlocked presidency and said real estate sales were almost at a full stop.

He added that the problem is neither economic nor financial but merely political, noting that there are 400,000 Lebanese expats who can bail this key sector of the economy out of stagnation, but first, they want to see political problems come to a closure.

In July, the number of real estate deals dropped to 5,074 from 5,592 while prices edged down by four per cent compared with last year’s prices.