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 sales activity continued to slow down during July. A total of 563 sales transactions were registered at a value of KD 131.3 million. While the number of units sold rose by 5%, the value of sales was down 15% from June. The decline was largely in apartments and commercial property, sales of which fell by 29%. Residential property sales also saw a decline by 4% while units sold rose by 5%.
The first seven months of 2005 saw average real estate sales drop by 10% in value and 13% in number compared with the same period last year. Again, most of the decline occurred in the apartments and commercial sector.
Average prices per unit sold during the month were down by 9% for residential property and by 28% for apartments and commercial property. Still, the trend in prices remains strong as average prices during the first seven months of 2005 were higher compared with the same period last year. Average residential property prices were 4% higher while apartments and commercial property prices were up by 37% on average.
Loans approved by the Savings and Credit Bank (SCB) declined by 10% in number and 13% in value during July, after strong growth in the previous months. The SCB approved 457 loans compared with a monthly average of 403 loans in 2004. Loans approved for existing homes increased by 33% since June both in value and number, while loans for new construction declined by 21%. Meanwhile, the value of loans disbursed reached KD 18.9 million, down 16% from the previous month. The figure was also down by 9% thus far in 2005 compared with the same period last year.