Lebanese struggle to find homes
Lebanon’s real estate sector at an all time high.
June 18, 2010 7:52 by Rasha Reslan
Many people in Lebanon have been left desperate for affordable housing following an unprecedented boom in the real estate market, reports Zawya.com.
Despite the fact that real estate sectors in countries around the world are struggling to recover from the economic downturn, in Lebanon it is at an all time high.
“Amid a rare political detente in the normally turbulent Mediterranean country, property sales jumped 41 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared with the same period last year, to a record 3.2 trillion Lebanese pounds (2.1 billion dollars, 1.7 billion euros), according to the Directorate of Real Estate,” reports the paper.
Much of the demand stems from abroad; Lebanon is a popular destination for wealthy residents of nearby oil producing countries, and of course with Lebanese expats earning good money abroad. The much lower paid residents of the country struggle to compete.
The paper says that prices in the “golden triangle” of the capital — Ras Beirut, Ashrafieh and the central district – now start at 3,000 dollars a square metre for a first-floor apartment and can run as high as 15,000 dollars. A hard-to-come-by 150-square-metre apartment in that area may sell for well above one million dollars as demand far outstrips supply.