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Jordan’s real estate market booming, official data show

By Omar Obeidat - Jan 05,2014 - Last updated at Jan 05,2014

AMMAN –– Trading in the Kingdom’s real estate market surged by 15 per cent from JD5.6 billion in 2012 to JD6.3 billion in 2013, official figures showed Sunday.

According to Department of Land and Survey (DLS) report, released Sunday, government revenues from the sector went up by 11 per cent to JD354 million last year from JD319 million in 2012.

The DLS figures showed that a total of 30,380 residential apartments were sold last year, a 19 per cent increase over the 25,434 units sold in 2012.

Nearly 90 per cent of the housing units were purchased by Jordanians, the report indicated, noting that non-Jordanian residents bought only 3,180 apartments valued at JD269 million.

Kamal Awamleh, president of Jordan Housing Developers Association, said the volume of trading was in line with investors’ expectations as demand for residential apartments was strong last year.

“2013 was a very good year for the housing sector,” Awamleh said, adding that prices of residential properties remained stable during the year.

He expects the sector to keep its strong performance in 2014 if prices do not go up sharply, indicating that increases in cement prices over the past five months may hurt the industry as developers may be burdened by higher costs.

Higher demand for small apartments

The department’s figures show homebuyers in Jordan still prefer relatively small-sized residential units.

Nearly two thirds of the apartments sold in 2013 were sized less than 150 square metres (sq.m.) each. Awamleh attributed the demand for such properties to the fact that buyers wanted to benefit from government incentives.

According to government regulations, a buyer of an apartment sized 150 sq.m. or less does not pay registration fees and taxes on the first 120 sq.m. of the property.

The DLS statistics revealed that out of the 30,380 apartments sold last year, 20,084 were sized 150 sq.m. or less.

Land transactions down

Other data pointed to a sharp drop in land purchases in the Kingdom last year, going down by 21 per cent when compared with 2012.

While a total of 86,778 land transactions were registered in 2012, the official data showed that 68,201 transactions were made last year.

Mohammad Muhyeddine, manager of a real estate agency in Amman, attributed the decline in demand for land to rising prices across the Kingdom, and not only in the capital.

Land prices in Amman have gone up by nearly 40 per cent between 2012 and 2013, he pointed out, indicating that land values in other cities also increased by almost 15 - 20 per cent.

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