The property market is still subjected to a relatively slow performance during the first six months of 2012 characterized by a rise in the value of property sales transactions but a decline in volume, coupled with an ongoing slowdown in construction permits.
In details, the value of property sales transactions posted a rise of 7.8% year-on-year to reach a total of US$ 4,149 million in the first half of 2012. This upward movement is actually attributed to a rise in the value of property sales transactions within the majority of the regions which offset the decline seen in the minority. The most significant increase was recorded by Nabatiyeh, Metn and the Bekaa with 29.4%, 22.7% and 15.2% respectively.
While transactions managed to report a rise in value, their volume declined by 8.0% year-on-year to attain a total of 34,388 transactions during the first six months of 2012. Foreigners have exhibited an interest in the local realty market as the number of sales to this category progressed by 8.9% year-on-year during the first six months of 2012, versus a decline of 32.5% recorded in the same period of 2011. In parallel, construction permits delivered by the Orders of Engineers in Beirut and Tripoli are showing similar trends. In fact, construction permits reported a decline of 15.6% year-on-year during the aforementioned period of 2012, with almost all regions showing a downward trend.
The Lebanon Weekly Monitor – Bank Audi