Experts downplay impact of decline in number of expats
KUWAIT CITY, Dec 11: Despite the decrease in the number of expatriates in Kuwait due to the corona pandemic and the resulting decline in demand and an increase in the supply of investment real estate, these data did not prevent Kuwaiti investors from continuing to invest in property in various regions of Kuwait, especially areas saturated by expatriates, in the regions such as Hawally and Salmiya, reports Al-Anba daily. The daily quoting real estate developers confirmed that the investment real estate activity is closely related to expatriates who live in apartments in typical areas, which helps reduce the impact of the decline in the number of expatriates on the real estate sector.
According to official data, the occupancy rates in investment real estate have fallen to less than 85%, and there is no doubt that about 190,000 residents have left permanently since the beginning of the pandemic which is one of the main reasons behind the spread of “empty apartments for rent” signs in all regions of Kuwait, and this has led to a reduction in rents which vary in percentage according to the area, and of course the number of departures has left a huge void in investment properties, in which occupancy rates have declined significantly during the past two years.
In this regard, the real estate expert, Abdulaziz Al- Dughaishem, downplayed the impact of the decline in the number of expatriates on the investment property, saying the main reason for the decline in occupancy rates in the investment real estate is the tendency of a large segment of expatriates to live in apartments in model areas, as these apartments enjoy attractive advantages, including spacious parking areas, free electricity and water, in addition to the availability of all basic services within, not to mention the crowding and its proximity to the commercial center in the capital. He added this did not prevent Kuwaiti investors from continuing the demand for investment real estate, especially in Salmiya, Hawalli, Khaitan and Farwaniya, given that these areas are still attractive to a large segment of expatriates who still prefer to live in these areas, which represent major gatherings for many expatriate communities. He said that the investment sector has begun to recover after the recent losses, as it is witnessing an increase in demand after the economic cycle with the opening of Kuwait International Airport and the return of life to normal.
Another real estate expert, Ahmed Al-Duwaihes, says the investment real estate situation will not stabilize as long as the news of the Corona pandemic and mutated viruses keep popping up from time to time inside and outside Kuwait, especially since this pandemic has caused and continues to disrupt many businesses and some of them even closing shop. Al-Duwaihes stressed that no one can deny the existence of noticeable vacant number of fl ats in many real estate areas, especially in light of the failure of the arrival of large numbers of Asian workers coming from East Asian countries such as India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh due to the long and complex health procedures these workers face, which has caused delays in travel procedures, who constitute a significant proportion of the expatriate workers working in Kuwait and the rest of the Arab Gulf countries.