Trumping Kurdistan, real estate prices 'spark uproar' in al-Anbar

Trumping Kurdistan, real estate prices 'spark uproar' in al-Anbar

Shafaq News / Since its liberation from ISIS in 2017, the continuing construction projects in al-Anbar, western Iraq, as well as the governorate's recent security stability, have contributed to a major surge in real estate prices, particularly in the main cities.

According to observers and owners of real estate offices in al-Anbar, one of the most prominent reasons for this rise is that hundreds, if not thousands, of residents of other Iraqi cities, have purchased properties in al-Anbar, owing to the governorate's security stability and ongoing reconstruction and development campaigns.

Meanwhile, low-income people in al-Anbar have complained about the rising real estate prices, which have had a considerable impact on rental house costs, now ranging from 500,000 to 750,000 dinars.

In fact, the residents called for government intervention to prevent price inflation or to provide alternatives, such as establishing government housing complexes for rent, or allocating plots of land and offering loans to citizens so they can build them themselves.

In this regard, social researcher Nabil Abdul Salam identified two factors driving the rise in real estate prices in al-Anbar. The first is businessmen's desire to invest in residential complexes and convert agricultural areas to residential ones, selling them through real estate bank loans, and then selling them at exorbitant prices in the form of housing units.

Abdul Salam continued, "The second aspect is the high demand from outside al-Anbar on properties inside the governorate."

"It is not limited to residential units and land; shop rentals have also affected employment. Larger malls tend to cut workers to secure enough money for rent," he said.

For his part, Jassim al-Halbousi, Deputy Governor for Administrative Affairs in al-Anbar, attributed the governorate's crisis to two factors. "The better the services in the area, the more desirable it becomes. The demand, consequently, surpasses the supply, bringing the prices higher. The second factor is the rise in real estate prices in Baghdad, which reflects on the other governorates."

Al-Halbousi told Shafaq News agency that "real estate prices in Baghdad have become four times what they were two years ago," while also proposing "facilitating access to residential land plots for citizens and soft loans to reduce the rise in real estate prices."

He noted, "real estate prices in Kurdistan are still reasonable, although the residential areas of Erbil are more sophisticated than those in al-Anbar and Baghdad," adding that some high-income people bought real estate at inflated prices, which also led to a rise in real estate prices in general."

"A large number of residents from Baghdad and neighboring governorates have purchased residential houses in al-Anbar, causing prices to rise," al-Halbousi said, pointing out, "All Iraqi citizens have the right to live in the place that suits them, so there is no objection from al-Anbar government to citizens from other governorates purchasing residential lands and housing units in the governorate."

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