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Mon 4 Jan 2010 07:45 AM

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House prices plummet in flood-hit Saudi areas - report

Estate agents says there are no buyers and existing residents are considering selling up.

House prices plummet in flood-hit Saudi areas - report

Real estate agents have estimated the value of property damaged by November’s floods in east Jeddah at more than SR100 million ($26m).

They said property prices had dropped dramatically in areas worst hit by the disaster and many people were considering selling up.

Residents of the eastern Al-Harazat district are considering selling their homes and moving elsewhere to protect their lives and investments, they said in comments published by Arab News on Monday.

Estate agent Ibrahim Musa said: “We’re not getting buyers nowadays, especially since there is talk that all homes built in valleys prone to floods are to be knocked down.”

Musa told the paper that the current price of a 750 square metre piece of land in the Al-Harazat district was SR45,000 while the price of similar plots close to the main roads might reach SR300,000.

“Prices fell dramatically after the floods. We have not seen a single buyer for a month,” he added.

Hamad Al-Mitairi, who owns a real estate agency, added that buyers were now preferring homes and land in the north of the city away from flood-prone areas.

Al-Mitairi believed property sales in flood-affected areas are likely to be on hold until all related issues are resolved.

Separately, officials fear the number of people missing because of the floods could continue to rise after DNA testing on 28 bodies failed to identify them.

The bodies were found not to be any of the 37 people on the official list of those reported missing by relatives.

“This shows that there could be more people missing than we thought,” Saleh Al-Ghamdi, chief of Criminal Evidence at Jeddah Police, told the Saudi Gazette.

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