Kuwait: Real estate sales bounce back during June, but market remains volatile
In its latest economic brief on the monthly statistics of registered real estate contracts issued by the Ministry of Justice, excluding sales conducted through agents, National Bank of Kuwait reports that real estate sales saw a significant jump in June following a sharp drop the previous month. A total of 432 sales transactions were registered at a value of KD 177.4 million. Although unit sales and values were up by 30% and 22% respectively from the previous month, they were down 53% and 28% respectively on a year ago. June’s strong performance was largely due to a buoyant month in the apartments and commercial property segment, which saw sales rise 28% by value and 63% by number of units sold. Average prices per unit sold during the month were lower by 6% for residential property (month on month) and by 22% for apartments and commercial property.
NBK reported that real estate market activity has been volatile during first half of 2008, with average sales values down by 11% and sales volumes down by 27% compared to same period a year before. During the same period, sales for residential property also dropped, with declines of 27% and 31% in value and units sold, respectively.
However, average prices for registered transactions were up 23% for apartments and commercial property and by 5.4% for residential property.
Loans approved by the Savings and Credit Bank (SCB) rose for the third consecutive month, by 2% in number and 3% in value from May, reaching their highest level since July 2007 at KD 16.6 million. The SCB approved 464 loans in June, compared with a monthly average of 378 in 2007. Loans approved for purchasing existing homes were up 22% in number and 43% in value compared with previous month. Loan approvals are down substantially thus far in 2008 compared to a year before. According to NBK, the value and number of loans approved during the first half of the year were down by 20% and 5% respectively, compared with the same period last year. Value of disbursed loans also reflected this decline, with the average value of loans disbursed during the first half of 2008 was down by 26% compared to the same period last year. June alone saw a 10% decline in disbursements.