Kuwait's realty sector sales decline after rise in March

The real estate sector in Kuwait recorded a dip in April following a comeback in March, according to a new report.

A total of 554 sales transactions worth KWD209.2 million (Dh2.88 billion) were recorded for the month compared to 873 sales transactions in March of KWD277m. Unit sales declined by 37 per cent in number and 25 per cent in value of sales for the month of April, a National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) update said.

In comparison to the previous year for the corresponding period, NBK said the real estate sector was down by 51 per cent in unit sales and 34 per cent in value of sales.

The decline in April was said to be due to a sharp drop in sales of residential properties, which fell by 34 per cent in value and 40 per cent in number, compared with March. Sales of apartments and commercial property were also lower dropping by 14 per cent and 22 per cent in value and units sold, respectively.

According to the report, a latest economic brief on the monthly statistics of registered real estate contracts issued by the Ministry of Justice, NBK noted a one per cent increase in sales values for the sector in the first four months of 2008 in comparison to the corresponding period for the previous year in 2007. However, according to the report, the number of units sold declined by 10 per cent for this year.

However, average prices per unit sold during the month of April were higher by 10 per cent for residential property and by 9 per cent for commercial properties.

NBK reported loans approved by the Savings and Credit Bank (SCB) saw a rise by 28 per cent in number and 65 per cent in value from the previous month.