Kuwait real estate sales hit new record
Kuwait, June 2, 2014
The real estate activity in Kuwait hit a new historic record in April breaking the KD400 million ($1.4 billion) sales mark for the second time in less than a year.
Further confirming the strengthening of the market thus far in 2014, the real estate sales totaled KD447 million, up 60 per cent year-on-year (y/y), said a statement from the National Bank of Kuwait.
The sales were up across all sectors with an exceptional performance by the residential sector, it stated.
Sales in the residential sector reached KD220 million in April, a 45 per cent y/y increase. Although there was a 20 per cent y/y decline in the number of transactions to 476, this was more than offset by a rise in the average transaction value, up 80 per cent y/y.
One single large transaction, worth KD40 million, skewed the numbers upward. Despite strong year-on-year increases in sales, the number of transactions has been dropping (year-on-year) in past months, a possible reflection of the short supply of residential properties available on the market, said the NBK report.
Ahmadi area of Kuwait continues to dominate with 38 per cent of transactions, followed by Mubarak Al-Kabeer with 25 per cent. The sales of vacant plots, as opposed to finished buildings, accounted for 58 per cent of all residential transactions in April, the top lender added.
Specifically, 23 per cent of the purchases of vacant plots took place in Sabah Al-Ahmed Sea City, followed by Abu Ftaira and Fnaitees, which combined accounted for another 20 per cent, the NBK report stated.
On the investment sector, NBK said its sales stood at KD189 million in April, up 63 per cent y/y. The sector also saw a small two per cent y/y increase in the number of transactions, recording 186 transactions by the end of April.
As a result of the increases, the average size of transaction rose by 50 per cent y/y, to KD 1.019 million. The sector witnessed three fairly large transactions, all for vacant plots in Salmiya, totaling a combined KD 23 million., the report added.
According to NBK, the whole buildings accounted for 46 per cent of all transactions in the investment sector. Individual apartments came in second, contributing 38 per cent of all transactions in the investment sector – the majority in Mahboula – followed by vacant plots, with a 15 per cent share, it stated.
The sales in the commercial sector more than tripled to KD37 million in April from a year ago. The sector recorded 12 transactions, with two of them worth more than KD7 million each.
Sales in this sector can be relatively volatile month-to-month. While the sector’s performance in the first two months of 2014 seemed to be cooling, March and April sales confirmed a strong bounce back, the report added.-TradeArabia News Service