Kuwaiti house sales up 130% in March

Official data reveals massive surge in real estate transactions compared to same period in 2009.
Kuwaiti house sales up 130% in March
By Reuters
Sun 25 Apr 2010 12:26 PM

Kuwaiti real estate sales rose 130 percent in March compared to the year-ago period due to high turnover in residential and investment property, official data showed on Sunday.

Sales in the Gulf Arab state rose to 205.83 million dinars ($714.6 million) from 89.35 million dinars in March 2009, the data showed.

Residential property deals, which represent the biggest portion of total real estate transactions, were up 194 percent to 141.62 million dinars, compared with 48.16 million dinars a year earlier.

Property sales, especially residential units, had been falling since the government placed restrictions in 2008 barring private firms from trading in existing houses to prevent unjustified increases in prices.

Investment property sales rose 90 percent to 49.58 million dinars, compared with the same month a year earlier.

Real estate sales in the world's fourth largest oil exporter witnessed the strongest performance in two years during March, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) said in a research note earlier this week.

"March data suggest that there may be scope for activity to surprise on the upside, helped by improving confidence and stronger demand for land, especially as the government pushes on with its economic development plans", NBK said.

In February, real estate sales declined 1.7 percent year-on-year, the date showed.

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