According to the data from the General Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre (LRC), the number of real estate (R.E) transactions, which may include one or more realties, reached 5,346 transactions in January 2018, up from 4,350 in January 2017. The rise may be attributed to BDL’s “expat mortgage” initiative whose aim is to revitalize investments in the sector by targeting Lebanese expatriates and offering them tailored loans at rates fixed for up to 30 years. In parallel, the gradual drop in prices also witnessed in the RE sector since 2012 partly attracted foreign investors, as developers offered payment facilities to help cope with the sector’s stagnation.
As such, the total value of total RE transactions climbed by a yearly 19.9% to stand at $684.4M compared to the same period last year. Accordingly, the average value per transaction fell from $131,227 in January 2017 to $128,018 in January 2018.
In addition, foreigners executed 91 transactions of the total in the first month of 2018, rising from 85 executed in the same period last year. However, the foreigners’ share in the total number of real estate transactions slipped from 1.95% of total real estate transactions in January 2017, to 1.7% by January 2018.
It is interesting to highlight that during January 2018, the value of RE transactions executed by foreigners on land properties surged from $3.9M in Jan 2017 to $41.7M, knowing that 95.6% of these investments were made inside Beirut.
As for the regional breakdown, Beirut grasped the largest share of total real estate transactions’ value, with a share of 31.6% (worth $216.3M) in January 2018, followed by Baabda and Metn with shares of 19.8% (worth $135.5M) and 17.08% (worth $116.9M), respectively. However, Baabda ranked first in terms of the number of real estate transactions executed, as it recorded 1,091 transactions (equivalent to 20.41% of the total). The North and Zahle followed, grasping 16.87% and 13.56% of total transactions, respectively.
Total Number of Real Estate Transactions in January