Lebanon real estate projected to rise 10 to 15% per year until 2013

Real estate values in Lebanon have increased by 9% in the first eight months of this year and are projected to rise by 10 to 15% each year until 2013.

Wealthy Lebanese expatriates and Arab property investors fed up with the slump in places like Dubai, are among the heaviest investors in the country, it is claimed.

The value of property transactions reached more than $4.3 billion in 2008 and this year is expected to be even higher.

‘We expect this growth to continue,’ said Bilal Abdallah Alayeli , the head of the Orders of Engineers in Lebanon.

According to real estate brokers most of the apartments that are sold in Beirut and Mount Lebanon are small to medium in size and the property boom in Lebanon is only natural because the county’s size is very small compared to the population.

One reason that demand for apartments is likely to continue rising is that the Central Bank has given incentives to commercial banks to increase house loans at very competitive rates. Banks are offering 20 to 30 year housing loans at interest rates 5.9% and under.
 
The latest official figures from the Directorate of Real Estate back up the trend. They show that there were 7,740 operations during August, up by 3.9% compared with July, their highest value in 2009 so far.
 
But the property market in Lebanon has been affected by the global downturn as well.

The August figures are still 2.3% lower than they were in August 2008 when the real estate boom was at its peak.
 
The news is encouraging to developers who are increasingly looking to Lebanon as a prime market in the gulf region. Venus Real Estate Development which has just launched its Venus Towers project said it attracted $100 million in off-plan sales in just 48 hours with about 25% of investors coming from the Gulf states.

Stimulated by attractive off-plan prices, significantly lower than those set for the construction period, the intense demand was unprecedented in Lebanon’s real estate sector.

‘We are delighted to see such enthusiastic demand from investors and future residents at Venus Towers, resulting in an exceptional volume of sales from the very first day.

It shows the high level of confidence in the future of Beirut and Lebanon.

This response consolidates our belief in the strength and stability of the real estate sector in Lebanon,’ said Venus general manager Mohamad Qassem.