By Karen Leigh
Commercial market has second-strongest month since 2007 on rebound
Real estate transactions in Kuwait skyrocketed by 50 percent in 2010, boosted by revitalized commercial sales and growing confidence from real estate investors.
The 6,768 transactions were an improvement over 2009, reaching KD2m ($7.2m), according to a brief from the National Bank of Kuwait.
Monthly transactions have been steadily increasing since June, with the exception of a dip in September. A year-end rally – including the sale of 12 commercial units, for KD62m – pushed December’s total to 601.
It marked the commercial sectors second-best monthly performance since 2007, NBK said.
The data indicates that Kuwait’s commercial market – which was hard-hit by the global financial crisis and has been recovering at a much slower pace than residential – is back on its feet.
“This may portend to further improvement in a sub-sector that has lagged behind the recovery seen in the residential/apartments sub-sector in early 2010,” the report said.
In December, residential sales – particularly villas and land, rather than flats – climbed by 21 percent over November, to 417 units and KD1.03m, a three-year high for monthly residential figures.
This “would tend to support the notion of an improvement of the real estate sector,” NBK said.
Though apartment sales dipped 21 percent, their total value rose from 53 to KD71m, the available flats selling for higher prices than they would have during the recession.
Moreover, “2010 witnessed the highest number of investment transactions executed in one year for [the past] 10 years, up 30 percent from 2009. The sector continues to attract interest from investors seeking yield and relative safety.”