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Monday , September 28 2020

Kuwait’s real estate sector hit hard by COVID

Incentives required to mitigate impact

KUWAIT CITY, July 20: There is no denying that the coronavirus (COVID- 19) pandemic had caused worldwide woes since the spread began in late 2019 and continued in 2020. Within the boundaries of Kuwait, the Gulf country – like the rest of the world – had taken precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, which affected the various business and investment sectors including real estate.

A number of real estate brokers spoke to KUNA about how the market was affected during the first half of this year, saying that despite the gloomy picture, real estate is faring better than other businesses, but required more incentives to overcome the impact of COVID-19. Head of Al-Dulaijan real estate office Suleiman Al-Dulaijan indicated that demand had increased for chalets in areas such as Sabah Al- Ahmad seaside city and other similar areas.

The reason was that clients were eager to buy real estate, which they can invest in like renting chalets and other facilities for families and leisure seekers, a positive step for the market, affirmed Al-Dulaijan.

However, the story was the opposite for commercial and investment real estate, which saw a drop in demand due to fears connected to COVID-19, he pointed out. Maitham Al-Shakhs – head of Athra real estate – provided a bleaker picture, saying that sales were down as a result of coronavirus restrictions.

Some deals were struck via online services launched by the real estate registration department during the easing of restrictions; however, this affected previous deals prior to the whole COVID-19 debacle, he added.

Major real estate owners are now faced with fewer options to sell and buy properties especially within areas still under full lockdown as well as commercial and investment real estate, indicated Al-Shakhs who added that financing in housing complexes and buildings was weak due to the freezing of rents.

Meanwhile, Head of Al-Muhaini real estate center Ibrahim Al-Muhaini said that price of real estate went up in some areas such as Sabah Al-Salem, Khaldiya, Adailiya, and Faiha to name a few. On the other hand, there was an increasing clientele interest in distant areas such as Sabah Al-Ahmad and Abdaly, Al-Muhaiuni said, adding that renting real estate was impacted heavily by the departure of expatriates to their countries of origin.

While brokers will continue to provide their own outlook on real estate in Kuwait, they seem to share a common belief that despite the hardships, real estate will “fall ill but never die.” , (KUNA)

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