Effectiveness of law remains uncertain

Bid to mitigate housing crisis

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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: Since the implementation of the anti-monopoly law on vacant lands in late November, discussions have arisen within real estate circles and among citizens regarding its potential impact on addressing the housing issue, reports Al-Qabas daily. More than two months into its enactment, questions persist about the law’s efficacy in curbing residential property speculation, particularly as the number of pending residential applications exceeds 91,000.

While some view the law as a positive step, others argue that it needs to be accompanied by supportive legislation such as mortgage laws, developer regulations, and housing city initiatives. The anti-monopoly law imposes an annual fee on unbuilt private housing plots exceeding 1,500 square meters, incrementally rising to deter land speculation. However, its impact remains subject to debate, with some expecting a decline in property prices while others maintain that it alone will not alleviate the housing crisis.

Ibrahim Al-Awadi, head of the Real Estate Union, emphasizes the need for a comprehensive approach, suggesting taxation on multiple property owners and promoting real estate development and mortgage systems. Suleiman Al-Dulaijan, a real estate expert, expresses skepticism about the law’s effectiveness, arguing that supply and demand dynamics are primary drivers of market fluctuations. Imad Haider, head of the Real Estate Brokers Union, criticizes the law’s focus on individual landowners, advocating for market regulation instead. Abdulaziz Al-Daghishim, another real estate expert, predicts potential loopholes and unintended consequences of the law. Tawfiq Al-Jarrah, also a real estate expert, calls for government intervention to regulate the real estate market and provide affordable land options to citizens. While the anti-monopoly law represents a step towards addressing land speculation, its effectiveness in mitigating the housing crisis remains uncertain without complementary measures and broader economic reforms.

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