Kuwait: Real estate sales show sharp drop during February
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 February after a significant increase during the previous month. A total of 363 sales transactions were registered in February, at a value of KD 93.5 million. The value of sales was down by 26.6% from the previous month, while the number of units sold decreased by a smaller 4.2%. The figures were also lower than a year ago with the value and number of units sold down by 10.3% and 21.6%, respectively.
NBK sights that February decline was due to a sharp drop in sales of apartments and commercial properties, which fell by 36.4% in value and 10.2% in number, compared with January. The residential sector was not spared, with value and unit sales down by 15.4% and 3.1%, respectively. Average price per unit during the month was also down in February, falling by 12.7% for residential property and by 29.2% in the apartments and commercial sector.
There was a notable decline in the value of loans approved by the Savings and Credit Bank (SCB) during the month, despite an increase in the number. While the number of loans approved rose by as much as 44.3%, the total value of these loans fell by 14.6% compared to the previous month. SCB approved 316 loans in February, compared to a monthly average of 388 in 2005 and 403 in 2004. The number of loans approved for the construction of new homes increased by a significant 62.8%, while loans for the purchase of existing homes increased by 31.5%. Meanwhile, KD 9.4 million in loans were approved, 55% below the 2005 average.