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Ironically, a couple of weeks ago the Sunday Times ran a full page article on the Beirut market, 'trumpeting' the news that Ivana Trump has teamed up with Damac to build a 35 storey block in an £81.5m project in the city centre.

In the same article an expat who bought a flat 6 months ago is quoted as saying, "I love it here. It is very, very safe".

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Ironically, a couple of weeks ago the Sunday Times ran a full page article on the Beirut market, 'trumpeting' the news that Ivana Trump has teamed up with Damac to build a 35 storey block in an £81.5m project in the city centre.

In the same article an expat who bought a flat 6 months ago is quoted as saying, "I love it here. It is very, very safe".

And here it is!

So is this city of 1.2m people a place for westerners to buy property? “Oh, it certainly is,” insists Renee Hashem, a local estate agent, as she takes me on a tour of the city. “Arab petrodollars are pushing the prices up like never before.”

In the residential district of Baabda, near the presidential palace, Hashem points to a home owned by a member of her family. Last year it was worth £815,000, now it is for sale for £1.35m. “You want to miss out on the boom?” Prices in central parts of the city have risen sharply. Two years ago, property in Marina Towers, a project similar to La Residence, went for £2,700 per sq m. Now it is double that.

“The political instability does not influence the real-estate boom here at all,” says Ronald Bridi, a property developer. “Lebanon is a small place and the amount of space is limited.”

Bridi, like many others, develops residential projects just outside the expensive inner-city centre. Here great-looking brand-new flats start from £700 per sq m. They are going quickly, as many Gulf Arabs are buying them off-plan.

John Meakin, an engineer from Guildford, Surrey, who arrived in Lebanon in 1996, is among fans of the Beirut market. “I cannot understand why people buy in France or Spain — they must be bloody mad,” he says. Three years ago he bought a 240sq m flat with a garden for £80,000 in Metn, just outside the capital. It was recently valued at £120,000.

“The quality of life, the neighbours, the level of education, the fact that English is widely spoken here, the low taxes — it is fantastic,” he says. “I might retire here in 5-10 years.”

Anyone care to revalue those properties now?

. Make sure you don’t have an Israeli stamp in your passport, because with it you cannot enter Lebanon.

Unless you have a few tanks....

In Lebanon you want to be part of the boom — not the bang.

btp

Edited by backtoparents

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I like the idea of someone investing in real estate in beirut describing someone who invests in France as 'bloody mad'!! As others have said a follow-up article would make interesting reading.

Still I suppose if you are a 'contrarian' investor there must be some real bargains to be had. Imagine if you'd bought up in Serbia/Croatia 11 years ago!

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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