Kuwait: Real estate sales up notably in 2007 despite sharp drop in May
In its latest economic brief on the monthly statistics of registered real estate contracts issued by the Ministry of Justice, National Bank of Kuwait reports that real estate sales showed a sharp drop during May after a significant increase during the previous month. A total of 886 sales transactions were registered in May, at a value of KD 230.4 million, down 22% and 27% from April, respectively. However, the figures remained relatively high compared to other months. They were up 29% and 26%, respectively, from a year before. The decline in May came from all sectors, with the apartments and commercial sector seeing drops of 27% and 30%, respectively, and residential sector sales down by 25.6% and 21%, respectively.
NBK noted that sales in 2007 were still up notably despite the May decline, with average real estate sales in the first five months of 2007 up by as much as 59% in both value and number of units compared with the same period last year. Most of the growth in sales can be attributed to the rapid growth in sales of residential properties, which rose by 65% in value and 56% in units. Meanwhile, average prices for registered transactions during the period rose by 6% for residential property, while apartments and commercial property saw a 15.6% decline compared to the same period last year.
According to NBK, the value of loans approved by the Savings and Credit Bank (SCB) rose by 39% during May, the most rapid since October 2005, while their number increased by 18%. SCB approved 469 loans in May with a value of KD 17.4 million. The number of loans approved for the construction of new homes and the purchase of existing homes increased by 41% and 14.8%, respectively. While the number and value of loans approved were up during the first five months of 2007 from the same period last year, the average of loans disbursed fell by 19%.