High rent forces low-income expats to live in ‘partitioned’ rooms

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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 8: Renting an apartment for expatriate workers is a financial concern that worries them a lot, as the average rent accounts for about 30 percent of the total income, taking into account the varying value of salary, spending, and rental rate.

According to the latest real estate data, the average rent for a room and a hall is about 180 dinars, while for two rooms and a hall, it reaches 230 dinars, and 120 dinars for a studio. These prices are considered expensive if it is known that about 62 percent of expatriate workers receive salaries less than 125 dinars, and 33 percent of them have salaries ranging between 325 and 400 dinars, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Expatriates with limited income are forced to search for cheap housing options, by heading to narrow spaces that suit their financial ability. Therefore, they resort to living collectively in one room, sometimes at a rate of up to 5 individuals sharing the same room, with the aim of reducing the pressure of rent by distributing it equally among them, while thousands of expatriates live in uncomfortable rooms what is known as “partitions” to save money.

According to a report issued by the Real Estate Union, the number of investment properties at the end of 2021 reached about 12,994 properties in various regions of Kuwait, containing 396,000 apartments, of which 61,000 are vacant, which means that the average occupancy rate is 84.6 percent.

The total number of expatriates reached about 3.29 million, according to the latest statistics issued by the Public Authority for Civil Information, a large segment of whom have a limited income that prompts them to resort to the option of saving on housing.

Real estate agents said that thousands of expatriates live in “partitions” in various regions of Kuwait, where some people resort to renting apartments consisting of two rooms and a hall or three halls and subleasing them with the partition system in order to achieve a double benefit. On the one hand, the profits of the sublessor are doubled according to the number of Participations and rent prices, and at the same time, it works to provide a cheap housing option for this wide segment of expatriates.

They explained that the rental value varies according to the region and the area of the partition and ranges between 15 and 70 dinars, indicating that this phenomenon is widespread in areas where expatriates are concentrated.

According to the Real Estate Union, Salmiya topped the Kuwaiti regions in terms of concentration of investment properties, with a number of buildings reaching 2,911, meaning it is the most densely populated with expatriates, while Hawalli came in second place with 1,811 buildings.

The Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh region occupied third place with 1,181 investment properties, followed by Farwaniya with 1,152, then Khaitan with 882 properties.

Mahboula came sixth with 799 buildings, followed by Al-Mangaf with 743, then Al-Fahaheel with 578, then Al-Jabriya with 511, and then Al-Jahra with 439 properties.

Abu Halifa ranked 11th with 359 buildings, then Sabah Al-Salem with 315, then the Sharq region with 313, then Al-Fintas with 305, Al-Raqi with 254, followed by Bneid Al-Qar with 198, then Al-Shaab with 131, then Al-Mirqab with 71, and finally Al-Qibla with 41.

A real estate source said that many Asian families live together in shared apartments and are separated by temporary partitions, pointing out that they resort to this option to save even if it is at the expense of their comfort and stability.

This news has been read 3850 times!

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