Kuwait: Real estate sales volume soar during July
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 volumes jumped by 50% to 649 in July. Sales values, however, at KD 162 million, were down 9% from the previous month. Unit sales and values were down by 32% and 65%, respectively, from a year ago. The hefty increase in July sales volume was mainly due to an 82% rise in the number of residential units sold. The volume of apartments and commercial property sold remained unchanged from June, though sales value declined by 40%. Average prices per unit sold during the month were 40% lower in the apartments and commercial property segment, while those in the residential sector saw an 11% decline. So far this year real estate sales are losing steam particularly in the non-residential sector.
NBK reported that overall, sales have fallen significantly thus far in 2008, with the average value of sales during the first seven months of the year 25% lower than the same period a year before. The number of transactions was 28% lower. Most of the decline in sales during the period occurred in the residential property segment, with value and unit sales dropping by 31% and 32%, respectively. Meanwhile, average price of registered transactions during the seven months rose by 2% for residential property, while apartments and commercial property saw a 14% decline compared to the same period last year.
NBK reported that loans approved by the Savings and Credit Bank (SCB) saw a 3% increase in number and a 9% increase in value during July. The value of loans disbursed also rose by a faster 17% from the previous month to KD 13.5 million. Most the increase came from the 61% rise in the value of loans disbursed for existing homes. SCB approved 479 loans in July, compared to a monthly average of 378 in 2007. The number of loans approved for the construction of new homes increased by 20%, while the number for purchase of existing fell by 17%. For the 7-months period, loans approved were down by 6.2% in number and 18% in value as compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, loans disbursed thus far in 2008 are 25% below the amount disbursed during the same period a year before.
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