Property sales in Lebanon top $9 billion
The value of real estate transactions went up 24 percent compared to the year before, according to the Real Estate Registry. Sales totaled $9.4 billion in 2017.
The number of real estate transactions totaled 80,823, recording an increase of 26 percent. This makes the average price per transaction $116,300, almost stable compared to last year.
These transactions represent property registrations. The sales contracts could have been signed years ago.
Georges Maarawi, Director General of the Real Estate Registry, said: “People thought that they will be affected by the tax hike. This is why we noticed higher registrations in March and April and two months before the budget was ratified by the Parliament.”
Maarawi said that the prices being registered at registry offices are closer to reality than previous years. “Secretaries of registry offices now have to compare prices of property that will be registered to prices of nearby properties. This raised the value of transactions.”
The third reason is the registration of a number of expensive properties.
The number of transactions in Beirut went up 33 percent. The value of the property remained stable at $2.3 billion. This might be attributed to a slash in prices and increased sales of small apartments.
Kesrouan and Metn saw moderate improvements in property transactions. Brokers witnessed better sales activity in those regions in 2017, compared to the year before, according to the Syndicate of Real Estate Brokers.
Improved activity was also seen in cities far from the capital, such as Zahle, where the value of transactions grew by 20 percent.
Maarawi said that there is a gap of at least two years between property registration and its actual purchase. “These numbers reflect the situation starting in 2014.”
Source: InfoPro Research