KUWAIT // Kuwaiti property sales plunged 47 per cent in the second-quarter compared to the year earlier period, as a result of the global financial crisis, official data showed on Sunday. Property sales in the Gulf Arab state fell to 280.8 million dinars (Dh360m) from 529.1 million dinars in the second quarter last year, it showed. "The economy is not growing and is decelerating, you have job destruction and job destruction would lead to higher population risk which will in turn add to the uncertainty on the real estate side," said Saud Masud, a property and construction analyst at UBS in Dubai.
Residential property deals, which represent the biggest proportion of total real estate transactions, fell 28.1 percent in the quarter to 142.8 million dinars. Property sales, especially for residential units, have been falling since state-restricted private firms were barred by the government from residential property deals last year. Investment property sales fell 55.6 percent to 101.19 million dinars, while commercial property sales were down 64.1 percent in the second quarter of 2009, compared to the year earlier period.
Commercial property in Kuwait typically refers to apartment buildings meant for leasing, mainly to foreigners. Kuwait's real estate market, which has not hit rockbottom yet, is a reflection of the of the health of the Gulf state's banking sector, Mr Masud said. *Reuters