Real estate transactions fall, values rise in 2012

Cranes are seen in front of high rise apartments and office buildings in downtown Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

BEIRUT: The number of real estate sales plunged in 2012 but the total value of transactions grew by 3.8 percent, statistics published by the Directorate of Land Registry showed.

The value of sales transactions increased to $9.175 billion in 2012, up by $330 million compared to $8.841 billion in 2011.

The number of transactions, however, declined by 9.9 percent in 2012, following a more acute drop of 11 percent in 2011. Sales to foreigners registered a sharp decrease of 8.9 percent in the volume of sales.

Construction permits issued by the orders of engineers in Beirut and Tripoli posted an average decline of 12.4 percent year-on-year during the first 11 months of 2012 across Lebanon.

This is also the case of cement deliveries that continued to decline by 6.5 percent year-on-year in the first 10 months of 2012.

The Daily Star reported this week that in spite of dire outlook for the luxury real estate market, rents and sale prices in the capital remain high.

Brokers and developers suggested Lebanon’s real estate bubble is set to burst in 2013, but demand from upper-class Syrians escaping into Lebanon will keep rents up.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 16, 2013, on page 5.




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