Jordanians are investing billions of dinars in property markets abroad, according to an industry leader. 

Jordan Housing Developers Association (JHDA) President Kamal Awamleh told The Jordan Times on Wednesday that the value of investments in the property market of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Jordanian investors is over JD2.5 billion, indicating property purchases of Jordanians in Abu Dhabi are estimated at AED5 billion, or JD965 million. 

The value of property investments of Jordanians in Dubai is nearly similar to that, Awamleh said, adding that Jordanians also purchased properties worth AED3 billion (around JD580 million) in Sharjah. 

According to a report released by Dubai Land Department in August, Jordanians topped the list of Arab investors in the emirate's property market during the first half of this year.  The figures showed that registered Jordanian investors bought 640 properties valued at AED1.347 billion –– around JD260 million –– during the January-June period of 2014.

Awamleh noted that Jordanians are also investing in the property markets of Turkey, Egypt, London and Morocco, among other countries. 

The value of investments of Jordanians in Turkey is around 500 million euros (JD450 million), in Egypt over JD350 million and over JD50 million in London’s real estate market, the JHDA president said. 

Awamleh remarked that a delegation of housing investors would be heading to the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan to explore investment opportunities upon an invitation by the government there.

“Jordanian housing companies enjoy a good reputation inside and outside the country,” he added. 

The remarks of the housing investor were echoed by Dawood Abu Judom, owner of Judom Real Estate Agency in Amman, who said that hundreds of Jordanians have been investing in the Gulf and other global markets particularly in the UAE. 

The UAE is the biggest market for Jordanian property investors, he said, indicating that the drive behind Jordanian investments in other markets is the incentives they are offered abroad. 

Jordanians are investing heavily in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, Abu Judom confirmed in a phone interview with The Jordan Times.  

Awamleh and Abu Judom blamed government policies and legislation for pushing local investors outside the Kingdom. 

Awamleh charged that delay in granting construction licences by the Greater Amman Municipality, which he said takes months to be released, caused many housing firms to head to regional markets.

He mentioned other obstacles such as limiting the number of floors for residential buildings.

The Jordan Times tried to contact Amman Mayor Aqel Biltaji and other officials at the municipality to comment on Awamleh’s complaints but they could not be reached. 

Abu Judom described the performance of the real estate in Jordan as “excellent” but said it could be much better if policy makers listen to what sector representatives have to say. 

For example, he mentioned that Jordanian homebuyers should be given the same tax incentives they were granted few years ago, adding that the draft income tax law currently being debated at Parliament is a concern for the private sector. 

According to figures by the Department of Land and Survey, trading in the Kingdom’s real estate market during the first three quarters of 2014 reached JD5.85 billion, higher by 22 per cent over the same period of last year when it stood at JD4.8 billion. 

The increase in trading was due to rise in demand for residential apartments, according to the agency’s report.