Propertyfinder, Lebanon’s leading property portal, has reported that property prices in Lebanon continue to remain stable despite the trickling down of sectarian tensions due to the Syrian conflict and the country’s own political unrest.
However, whilst selling prices have shown resilience, the portal observed that buyer demand was showing a decline.
“When we ran the numbers, we saw that average property prices in Beirut stood at USD 1.7 million in January this year, maintaining their value from Q3 2013,” said Wissam Moubarak, Country Manager of propertyfinder’s Lebanon operation.
In a bid to revitalise the real estate market and make property ownership accessible to the resident population, the Central Bank has announced subsidised housing loans. “Many residents feel priced out of the market as asking rates are above affordability levels and access to housing loans is difficult. Adding to these setbacks are low consumer confidence and broader economic uncertainties. Given that demand is increasing for smaller and more affordable properties from middle-to-upper income buyers in comparison to expensive luxury units, the government is positive that by addressing accessibility to housing credit, buyer sentiment and real estate investment will be boosted,” said Moubarak.
Lebanon’s open property market also allows foreign nationals to buy property anywhere in the country. “By targeting a recovery in the real estate sector, the government hopes to see a spill over into other sectors and in turn the generation of greater economic growth. So as an investor, if you can see through the smoke and look at the bigger picture, there’s a lot to be gained here,” added Moubarak.