Arab and foreign real estate purchases in Jordan increased 33%

Real estate in Jordan reported strong sales in 2011. A view of Amman, Jordan is pictured above. [Muhammad Hamed/Reuters]

Real estate in Jordan reported strong sales in 2011. A view of Amman, Jordan is pictured above. [Muhammad Hamed/Reuters]

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The value of Arab and foreign real estate purchases in Jordan increased 33% in 2011 as the total value of investments reached 449 million dinars ($630 million), according to the Ministry of Finance's lands and survey department.

Non-Jordanians invested 250 million dinars ($353 million) in apartments and residential units and 199 million dinars ($277 million) in land purchases during 2011.

Iraqis ranked first in the number of investors among non-Jordanian buyers, followed by Kuwaitis and Saudis.

Iraqis also ranked first in terms of the market value of purchased properties, with a total investment value of 252 million dinars ($355 million), representing 56% of the total value of purchases by non-Jordanians.

"Jordan's real estate sector continues to appeal to Arab and foreign investors because of the kingdom's security and stability and the investment and economic facilities, especially for Arab residents in Jordan," said Numan Hamshari, an engineer and investor in Jordan's housing sector.

He said the total value of investment in the real estate sector by non-Jordanians rose to 7% during 2011, totalling 6.43 billion dinars ($9 billion). The typical rate was between 3% and 4% in previous years.

Tax exemption revoked

Zuhair al-Omari, president of Jordan's Housing Investors Society, said that the housing sector is attractive to foreign investors because of Jordan's stability, its location in the centre of the Middle East, its mild weather and the resources provided to investors, especially Arabs, to encourage real estate ownership.

He told Al-Shorfa that tax exemptions helped increase real estate activity in Jordan to unprecedented levels.

"Real estate exemptions enhance the attractiveness of the sector, especially the building and construction industries, which drives other sectors, such as cement and iron production and labour, and in turn increases the revenue to the state treasury from the taxes imposed on these sectors," he said.

However, real estate tax and fee exemptions that the government approved three years ago contributed to a decline in the state treasury of about 400 million dinars ($564.8 million), said Dr. Umayyah Toukan, Jordan's Minister of Finance, during a January 8th meeting with the Jordanian Businessmen Association.

The government revoked the real estate tax and fee exemptions at the beginning of 2012.

Ghaleb Jaafari, an investor in the construction sector, said he does not expect an increase in real estate purchases by non-Jordanians to trigger higher or inflated prices because supply can meet demand.

Jaafari called for "facilitating the approval of bank loan applications for purchasing housing units in anticipation of slower domestic demand because of the revocation of real estate exemptions".

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    اثير صباح

    2012-2-16

    Purchasing real estate by the Arab and Gulf people aims only to benefit both parties. It serves also to make more money flow in Jordan so that the latter would be able to deal with implementing service projects that will contribute to developing this country and providing all the needs of Jordanians, given that the Arab and Gulf financiers need to expand their businesses as well as to have branches in all the countries so as to develop and increase their properties. In fact, the latter can be achieved through purchasing real estate in other countries and this would also contribute in moving their businesses to countries which need development, prosperity, advancement, and progress. As far as I am concerned, this is a good issue so that Arabs will benefit one another, particularly the countries which need development and progress, and those that want to open new horizons for cooperation and convergence with money owners from the Gulf countries. Thus, we wish all the success for all the Arab countries. We also wish to eradicate all the cases of poverty, ignorance, deprivation, negligence, and lack of services.

  • نذير وهاب

    2012-2-2

    It is certain that the extension of the real estate exemptions has improved the Jordanian real estate market. This has contributed to the decrease in prices to make them reasonable. Besides, these events and revolutions have led to a state of instability and insecurity in the Arab countries. Thus, light has been shed on Jordan, which has witnessed a state of relative stability. That’s why the Kingdom has witnessed the coming of many Gulf and Arab tourists. This is in order to buy apartments and residential units. In fact, Jordan is located in the center and it is involved in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Thus, the big Gulf investors and companies have taken a great interest in the Jordanian real estate sector, through establishing big residential projects. For example, Kuwaitis are among the people who invest the most in Jordan. Thus, the Kuwaiti investors have many real estate projects in Jordan. Besides, the number of tourists reached 84 thousand a year. Thus, the Jordanian economy has become strong and able to attract the Arab and foreign investments. However, at the same time, this will affect the majority of Jordanians, due to the increase in real estate prices. This will also affect the ability of the ordinary citizens who need to buy a plot of land or a house. Thus, it is important to study the situation in order not to make Jordanians feel alienated in their own country.

  • جودت حسن

    2012-1-29

    I believe that the Jordanian kingdom is one of the Arab states that enjoy security and stability in this critical stage in the history of the Arab nation, because of the escalating problem of the spirit of the political change through the revolutions of the Arab Spring that have already erupted or the ones that are expected to erupt soon. However, Jordan is considered one of the secure countries, given the wisdom of the king of the country and his political experience and closeness to his people. This allowed him to understand and realize most of the needs of the people and work on securing them, in addition to providing the people with a secure and stable environment for the Jordanian people. The kingdom also offers economic and investment facilities for the Arabs in Jordan. Furthermore, the Jordanian people are one of the Arab peoples that accept the others and do not consider them inferior, and this is one of the main causes that made Jordan a distinguished state that has achieved high sales rate in the real estate sector among the Arabs in general and the Iraqis in particular, given the unstable security situation in Iraq as a result of the terrorist operations that are carried out by the different terrorist organizations. This is in addition to the political disputes and disagreements among the Iraqi political parties and leaders. This caused many Iraqis to leave Iraq and settle in Jordan to practice their commercial and industrial works under the security and stability that are enjoyed in Jordan. They also receive support and incentives from the Jordanian government, which has also benefited from the large volume of investments that were brought by the Iraqi and other businessmen to the country.

  • محمدبشار

    2012-1-27

    The Gulf people must know that these buying operations are not a good idea and they must give up these operations. However, greed has attracted them to buying these lands in order to have the biggest part in the future. This is also in order to dominate Jordan. I think that this operation must be stopped as soon as possible, for the sake of the interest of the Jordanians. Thus, the Jordanian King will work on stopping these operations, God willing. This is in order to reconstruct his country again and to provide all the Jordanians’ requirements. That’s why he must not remain silent. And things will be much better than before, God willing.

  • موفق

    2012-1-27

    The Arab people have started to buy lands and real estate in Jordan, because the Arab investors are always looking for excellence. I think that the Arab and Gulf people have no relationship with the Jordanian lands. It is the property of Jordan. Thus, Jordan must think carefully before acting, and it must put an end to these buying operations, especially since it has raised prices as if it were going to buy itself. In fact, one day it will feel regret due to these buying operations of its money and people’s properties. Thus, if it wants to take interest in its people, it should give these amounts of money and buildings to Jordanians. In fact, the Arab and Gulf countries want to buy lands from Jordan in order to dominate the country.

  • كميل رمضان

    2012-1-25

    The trend of Arabs and Arab Gulf citizens to purchase real estate in Jordan, whether for an investment or housing or for middle-income people to save money, is due primarily to the high cost of real estate in general. In a survey done by Time magazine, the Gulf States and specifically the United Arab Emirates were ranked first in real estate purchases. In this poll, carried out by Time, a number of real estate specialists talked about the main attractions of purchasing which include the element of security, the political situation, and the local real estate laws in Jordan. Other factors in descending order are the price, the profit opportunities, the customs and traditions, the nature of the people, the proximity, and lastly the weather. The investments go to several countries and vary in this direction. This trend towards Jordan came after real estate prices dramatically rose in the Gulf States, which used to account for most of the investments.