KUWAIT, April 27 (KUNA) -- Real estate sales in Kuwait worth a total KD 293
million leapt 19pct in March, 2013 since the same period last year, said a
National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) report here on Saturday.
The increase comes after a drop witnessed at the beginning of the year,
NBK's weekly economic brief on Kuwait said, expecting the market to remain
stable until a slowdown marked by the advent of the summer period,
particularly as the market's three main sectors are witnessing healthy demand.
Total sales in the housing sector, including 490 transactions, reached KD
149 million in March with an average of 1.0pct on a year-on-year basis as the
average of each transaction grew by 7.0pct in comparison with 2012.
The latest developments in the financing sector could aid an increase in
the purchase of residential real estate in the mid to near future, mentioned
the report, noting that the rise of demand could be met with limited supply.
These developments have also led to a rise in loans provided by the Kuwait
state public lender, the Credit and Savings Bank and parliamentary approval
for the formation of a families' fund, in addition to the possible reduction
of interest on housing loans from local banks.
Meanwhile, the investment sector in March witnessed sales worth a total KD
122 million with a year-on-year increase of 31pct. These sales mostly focused
on high-rise buildings, residential apartments or land plots, with the
intention of leasing the final product.
This sector is being viewed as a substitute for investment at the Kuwait
Stock Exchange, added the report. In recent years, focus on real estate
investment has increased in light of decreasing stock market returns.
The report went on to predict that the investment sector will achieve a
positive performance in 2013 on the backdrop of heavy demand and abundant
supply, however, it expected a drop in April in comparison with the same month
the prior year, which witnessed exceptionally high sales.
On the commercial sector, the smallest of the three, the report noted that
the sector witnessed sales worth a total KD 22 million through 12 transactions
after good performances in the last two quarters.
Furthermore, the report said that loans provided by the Credit and Savings
Bank in March were worth KD 34 million, distributed amongst 545 residential
loans, with the bulk of these going to new construction projects - the average
of which was KD 69,000 per loan. (end)
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