Lebanon Properties Hot Despite Global Financial Crisis

The Global Financial Crisis may have devastated real estate prices in Dubai, causing a 48% fall just this last year, as well as causing serious drops in other countries, but one place that is seeing increased prices is Lebanon.

Lebanon

Lebanon

The head of the Order of Engineers in Lebanon has predicted a growth in the real estate sector of 10% to 15% per year until 2013. The reason for this is the influx of Lebanese expats and other Arab investors seeking a piece of Lebanese real estate. Many of these expatriate Lebanese had spent years in other Gulf states, Dubai especially, but many have now moved from the UAE to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, where job prospects are now better, or back to their home country to purchase a property there.

In 2008, transactions accounted for $4.3 billion dollars in Lebanon property, with most of the action taking place on small- to medium-sized properties in Beirut or Mount Lebanon. However, real estate brokers are not too surprised by the effect of this expat activity given the small size of the country compared to the population. If land and property is at a premium, prices can be significantly affected by a relatively small shift in the population either way, or just by the actions of speculative investors.

Property prices per square metre in Beirut are twice the national average, at $1,600, and most sales take place on properties between 150 and 300 square meters. It is also projected that the market will be given a further boost by recent incentives given to commercial banks by the Lebanese Central Bank to offer house loans at very competitive rates.

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