Although many people in Lebanon have been making use of their locked deposits by buying property, the real estate market is suffering immensely as a result of the prevailing economic crisis, with demand reaching a record low during the last quarter.
According to the Byblos Bank Real Estate Demand Index, which measures the local demand for residential units and houses in Lebanon, real estate demand has declined by 65 percent in the second quarter of 2020 (9.6 points) compared to that of the first quarter.
Additionally, the index revealed a decline of 79.4 percent in the second quarter from the 46.5 points one year ago. The index reached an all-time low in April when it fell by a staggering 91.7 percent to 3.7 points.
These numbers attest to the fact that the worsening socio-economic conditions that the Lebanese are suffering from today have forced them to prioritize their expenditures.
It is also true that many have resorted to real estate as a safe investment through which they could extract their money from the banks that are withholding them.
However, even with that being the case, the decline suggests that the actual demand for real estate is much lower than the available stock of residential units.
This, as the head of the Economic Research and Analysis Department at the Byblos Bank Group, Nassib Ghobril, told Arabian Business, could be attributed to several factors, including the government’s lockdown measures and the devaluation of the Lebanese pound, which has lost over 80% of its value since 2019.