Kuwait: Upward trend in real estate sales continued during November
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 maintained an upward trend during November. A total of 801 sales transactions were registered at a value of KD 170 million, up 63% and 8.4%, respectively, from October. Compared to a year ago, the figures were up by 19% and 26%, respectively. NBK noted that growth in November came largely from increased activity in the residential property sector with the value of sales rising by 31% and the number of sales up 60% compared to October. Units of apartments and commercial property sold also increased, rising by a significant 84%, though the value of sales declined by 21%.
NBK stated that average real estate sales during the eleven months of 2006, rose by 15% in value and 7.7% in number compared with the same period last year. Most of the growth in sales can be attributed to the rapid increase in sales of apartments and commercial property, which rose by 39% in value and 32% in number. Meanwhile, average prices for registered transactions during the period rose by 5.5% for apartments and commercial property, while residential property saw a 1.1% decline.
According to NBK, there was a jump in loans approved by the Savings and Credit Bank (SCB) during November, as the number of approved loans rose by 32% while their value increased by 51% compared to the previous month. SCB approved 430 loans in November, compared with a monthly average of 388 in 2005. Growth received a large push from rapid increases in loans for new construction and for the purchase of existing homes which rose by 59% and 56%, respectively. Meanwhile, the value of loans disbursed also rose by 26% to KD 16.6 million, though loans disbursed thus far in 2006 remained 10.6% below the same period last year.