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Real Estate in Lebanon: Time to Dream!

BEIRUT | - June 25, 2014, 12h15
Par Sophie Spencer
The Real Estate Dream Expo opened Tuesday, June 24 at BIEL Beirut. We were here to scope out this luxury market... and savour the hors d’oeuvres of course.
Everyone who is in Lebanon’s real estate industry was present at the Dream Exhibition at BIEL, which runs until the end of the week.

Bank representatives and real estate experts were in attendance of the opening, as well as property developers with building projects catering to all tastes and budgets.

Having said that, luxury real estate seemed to dominate the expo, perhaps because these are the companies who can afford to splash the cash on impressive displays. On entering the exhibition we are immediately greeted by a simulation of the night time view from Sama Beirut’s 51-storey tower. This project, which will be the tallest building in Lebanon, towering over Beirut from Sodeco and offering the most exquisite views, is attracting Lebanon’s elite.

Ahlam Mountain and Golf Village, a unique community in the Kfardebian mountainside with a one-of-a-kind golf course at an altitude of 1400 meters, also had an impressive display with a booth covered in grass with hills and holes recreating the golf experience. Although Ahlam offers an exclusive experience in a highly sought-after location, its representatives were quick to remind me that plots were affordable even for the middle classes.

Affordability is of utmost importance right now, with experts in the real estate market reporting that middle priced apartments are the only section of the market still very much in demand and not affected by Lebanon’s political and security situation.

Samer Katanji from Ar-Rikabi Trading and Contracting who specialise in affordable property, told they are providing “what the average Lebanese guy needs”. With Lebanese banks willing to contribute up to 80% of prices in loans, apartments are becoming affordable for more people.

Security worries also mean a boost in popularity for safer communities such as security-controlled compounds. This is the specialisation of the Dubai based Green Valley who report healthy interest in their projects from Lebanese buyers who are ‘used to’ the volatile security situation. However, since the UAE issued a travel warning against Lebanon for its citizens, green valley have been hit by the absence of Emirati buyers who are forced to settle for second-choice locations such as Turkey.
#Dream_Expo, #RealEstate, #Luxury_real_estate, #luxury
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