A residential complex in the Kurdistan Region's capital of Erbil. File photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Housing prices increased by 20 percent in 2018 in the Kurdistan Region, while rent has gone up by 15, with even higher prices predicted.
The data is according to a study by real estate company Baghi Khoshnawati with its 10 branches in Erbil.
“Based on this analytical report prepared by our company, 2018 was a year of recovery for the real estate [sector]. We can say that after 2014, it is one of the best years in terms of selling and buying. Selling prices have increased by 20 in total,” said Brwa Fariq Khoshnaw, the manager of the company.
Khoshnaw gives examples for the increases. A piece of land worth $30,000 increased by $5,000. A house valued at $200,000 increased by $20,000, while a $500,000 house jumped by $50,000.
Last year, a house in Erbil sold for $7 million and there are other houses worth $20 million. The price of a 600 square-meter lot in the upscale Waziran quarter has increased to $1 million, explained Khoshnaw.
Khoshnaw also revealed that rent has increased by 15 percent. Demand for rental accommodations in the second half of 2018 has increased by 45 percent compared to the first half of 2018.
In May 2018, the rent for a house in the Italian Village was $500. Currently, the rent price stands at $650. There are no houses available because of high demand.
“Currently, a large number of citizens from central and southern Iraq are coming to Kurdistan, especially residents of Mosul and Basra,” Khoshnaw added.
Another reason for high demand is the return of foreign companies, many which had left the Kurdistan Region at the start of the ISIS conflict in 2014.
“We can say that after the financial crisis and Daesh, it is the first time that the housing sector in terms of rent has had such movement and growth,” added Khoshnaw.
He predicts the trend will continue.
“Since we have been working in the real estate sector for long years, we can say that in the next phase, the sector will witness further growth,” said Khoshnaw.
The large demand on rental accommodations and housing will lead to increasing housing prices.
In 2012, the monthly rent for a house in Italian Village reached $2,800, sparking an increase in the price of houses to $400,000, Khoshnaw added.
“This was due to increasing rent prices. That is why we think that in the beginning of 2019, the real estate sector will witness a considerable increase,” Khoshnaw concluded.
Usable land is notoriously difficult and expensive to purchase in the mountainous Kurdistan Region.
Because of its relative safety compared to the rest of the Middle East and rebuilding of lands once controlled by ISIS in northern Iraq, property in the Kurdistan Region is hard to come by.