DEVELOPERS STRUGGLE TO FIND BUYERS AMONG RESIDENTS
Lebanese expatriates account for the bulk of demand
As a result of the deteriorating situation, Dagher explains that many Lebanese residents have postponed their plans to acquire new homes, pending an improvement in the country’s economic outlook. He states that his firm has struggled to find local buyers for residential projects and has sold, for example, only 27 of 54 apartments in a residential complex on which construction began three years ago in Beshara al-Khoury.
Lebanese expatriates, however, have made up for much of the weak demand by residents, Dagher explains. He notes that close to 75 percent of the deals that his company closed in 2014 involved expatriates living in the Gulf countries. Thanks to Lebanese expatriates, SD Development has almost completely sold a residential tower on which construction began two years ago in Hamra, which according to Dagher, remains an attractive destination due to its prime location and its proximity to hospitals, universities and schools. Only two out of 27 apartments with a surface area of 155 square metres remain up for sale, Dagher says.
Likewise, Yessayan states that his company has managed to sell over half of its apartments in more than four projects under development in Beirut and its outskirts. Twenty-six out of 32 apartments in a residential complex being constructed in Antelias region have been sold while the project is still in the excavation phase, Yessayan adds, noting that Lebanese doing business abroad represented the majority of his clients.