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Sun 5 Jul 2009 06:41 AM

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Kuwait real estate sales fall to 5 month low

National Bank of Kuwait report says 314 deals done in May, down 17% on previous month.

Kuwait's real estate market slowed in May to its worst performance in five months, according to a new report published by the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK).

Property business in Kuwait recorded 314 deals worth a total KD80.1 million ($278m) in May, with sales down by 17 percent compared to April, the report showed.

Citing the monthly statistics of the Ministry of Justice Property Registration Office, the drop in sales in May was mainly due to a 66 percent dip in the sales of the commercial sector, the report said.

The apartment sector rose by eight percent in May, while the housing and commercial sectors declined by four and 24 percent respectively, KUNA News Agency reported.

Average housing sales fell by 55 percent in the first five months of this year compared to the same period last year, and average deals also plummeted by 49 percent, the report added.

The dip was mostly in apartment sales, which plummeted 63 percent, and sales of the housing and commercial sectors also went down by 57 and 14 percent respectively.

Loans from Kuwait's Saving and Credit Bank (SCB) also dropped in both size and value in May, recording the lowest level since April 2008, the report showed.

However, average loans for the first five months of the year rose 11 percent compared to last year, the report added.

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