In its latest economic brief on the real estate sector, National Bank of Kuwait reports that real estate sales experienced their strongest month in eight months during April. According to the monthly statistics of registered real estate contracts issued by the Ministry of Justice, excluding sales conducted through agents, a total of 615 sales transactions were registered at a value of KD 148 million, up by 15% and 26% from previous month, respectively. The figures were up by 22% and 27%, respectively, compared to a year before.
Growth was led by residential property which saw the number of units sold increase by 17% and value rise by 37%. The value of sales of apartments and commercial property also increased, rising by 8%, though the number of units sold declined by 1.3%.
NBK noted that the value of real estate sales during the first four months was up by a mere 1.7% compared to the same period last year, while the number of units sold dropped by 11%. The slowdown was due to a decline in sales in the residential sector, with number of units sold down by 14% and their value 17% lower. Meanwhile, the average price per unit sold rose by 15%, driven by a 36% increase in the apartments and commercial property, while residential property saw a 3.9% decline.
While the number of loans approved by the Savings and Credit Bank (SCB) during April was up by a notable 16.8%, the value of those loans fell by 26%. SCB approved 438 loans in April compared to a monthly average of 388 in 2005 and 403 in 2004. The number of loans approved for the construction of new homes and for additions and renovations rose by 32% and 50%, respectively, compared with March, while that for the purchase of existing homes declined by 13.7%. Meanwhile, the SCB disbursed KD 22.3 million in loans during April, 1.1% more than the previous month, though the year-to-date average was down by 6% compared to the previous year.