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The real estate market in the Gulf region is still experiencing considerable fluctuations with more

But a report from the Kuwait Specialist Company for Consultancy shows that property trading volumes were down in September compared to the previous month.

Chairman Mohamad Sultan said trades in September reached KD70 million compared to KD111 million in August.

Real estate statistics for the third quarter of the years 2007, 2008, and 2009 show a worrying level of general decline in Kuwait's real estate market, Sultan added.

He said that the decline was due to the impact of the world economic crisis and the low commercial activity in the country in general and he called on local banks and investment companies to expand financial facilities for the real estate sector, adding that a slight increase in the level of demand was expected up to the end of 2009.

Meanwhile, Dubai developer Deyaar revealed that it has axed 20% of its total workforce following a review and rationalisation of resources.

A spokesman for Deyaar would not confirm the exact number of job losses but said they were the first cuts since the global financial downturn began.

It has also just reported a 74% drop in third quarter profits.

Information from Shafqat Malik, chief financial officer at Aldar Properties, shows just how volatile the market has been in 2009.

The firm saw a modest rise in property sales in the first half of the year, but there were no land sales in the second quarter.

Things began to pick up modestly in the third quarter.

‘We started to see openings in the market, transactions are starting to happen,’ he said and in particular demand for one and two bedroom flats, suggesting that real estate buyers are returning to the lower end of the market.

This has prompted a change around for the company which has tended to concentrate on high end properties but will now look more at middle and low end real estate.

‘This rationalisation of resources has been carried out to support  Deyaar’s sustained growth and maintain its commitments to customers, partners and shareholders in the most efficient possible manner,’ a statement said.