Residential apartment purchases are fuelling Jordan’s property market, according to official data, which show that demand for land is declining.
Figures released by the Department of Land and Survey (DLS) on Sunday showed that real estate trading during the first quarter of this year reached JD1.8 billion, a 26 per cent increase over the same period of 2013 and higher by 74 per cent when compared with the first three months of 2012.
Trading during the January-March period of 2013 was JD1.4 billion, while in the same period of 2012 it stood at around JD1 billion, DLS statistics show.
Housing developers expect the performance of the market to peak to pre-2008 levels as they project trading for 2014 to reach over JD7 billion.
Government revenues from real estate trading also grew tangibly during this year’s first quarter to reach nearly JD100 million, 24 per cent higher than the JD80 million generated in the first three months of 2013 and up by 65 per cent from the JD60 million recorded in the same period of 2012, according to the DLS report e-mailed to The Jordan Times.
The figures indicated that apartment purchases between January and March of this year rose by 24 per cent, while land transactions declined by 10 per cent when compared with the same period of last year.
The report pointed out that the number of apartments sold until the end of March was 8,305 units compared to 6,674 flats sold during January-march period of 2013.
Nearly 90 per cent of the residential apartments were bought by Jordanians as non-Jordanians  –– mainly Iraqis, Saudis and Kuwaitis –– purchased only 887 apartments worth JD79 million during the first quarter of this year.
Land sales during this year’s first quarter dropped to 16,448 transactions from 18,307 in the same period of last year, down by 10 per cent, the data showed.
‘Even stronger performance projected’
Jordan Housing Developers Association President Kamal Awamleh told The Jordan Times that trading in the real estate market is set to exceed JD7 million due to increasing demand for residential apartments by Jordanians. 
Rise in rentals, caused by the inflow of Syrians into the country, also made Jordanians prefer to buy than rent, he said.
Mohammad Sallam, a housing developer, agreed with Awamleh, indicating that the majority of potential buyers approach his company are mainly Jordanians. Sallam said that demand in the coming months is expected to increase sharply as Jordanian expatriates in the Gulf region start to return to Jordan for summer holidays.