Value of real estate sales in Kuwait increased slightly in April with the number of transactions rising eight per cent from March, according to a new report.
“A total of KD96.7 million (Dh1.23 billion) worth of transactions was registered, up by eight per cent from March. Rise in the value of sales was led by the commercial sector, which surged by 51 per cent. Sales of apartments rose by 13 per cent, while residential sales dropped by eight per cent,” National Bank of Kuwait said in its latest real estate report.
Year-on-year sales fell by 42.6 per cent in number and by 53 per cent in value.
Data from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) reveals that more than half of all residential sector transactions were accounted for by sales of existing homes, rather than new plots. Meanwhile, two area that are among the most active markets for privately-held vacant plots – Abu Futaira and Ishbilya – both represented 58 per cent of the total traded vacant residential plots. Despite the fact that these areas are relatively far from Kuwait City, there has been an increased interest in them, perhaps due to the completion of infrastructure.
According to NBK, real estate sales have fallen significantly thus far in 2009, with the average value of sales during the first four months of the year 56 per cent lower than the same period last year. The number of transactions was also 54 per cent lower. Most of the decline in sales during the period occurred in residential property with their sales values and transactions down by 62 per cent and 63 per cent, respectively.
The apartments sector was also weaker, with the average of monthly sales values dropping by 62 per cent. Meanwhile, the average transaction size rose 19.7 per cent for commercial property, but declined by 57 per cent for apartments.
The number of Savings and Credit BankSavings and Credit Bank loans approved increased moderately by two per cent to 460 in April over March, though the value of loans approved by the bank was down by 10.7 per cent, according to the report.