Kuwait expat exodus expected to hit property prices

Published:  8 Jun at 6 PM
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Expat property investors in Kuwait are expected to be hit by an expat exodus as well as salary reductions.

Experts in Kuwait’s real estate sector are warning that expat investors should expect a drop in house prices as high as 35 per cent, mostly due to the emirate’s shrinking popularity as an expat professional hub. In addition, occupancy rates are being predicted to fall to around 50 per cent as increasing numbers of expatriates give up and head for the home country.

Given the increasing antipathy against expats working in Kuwait, it’s no surprise that local real estate agents can see what’s coming when adding in the economic effect of the pandemic and crashing oil prices. Whilst the Gulf States as a whole have provided high salaries and a luxury lifestyle for qualified, experienced expat professionals, the pressure on the expat lifestyle by politicians backing jobs for Kuwaiti nationals will also play a part in the upcoming expat exodus.

A recent law on the reduction of expat salaries is also due to add to the numbers deciding to move on, whilst those opting to stay will be forced to find less expensive accommodation. As a result, landlords will need to reduce their rentals on luxury property, sending sale prices down as a result. Vacant apartments are already being offered by their investor owners on a ‘first two months rent-free’ basis. Even the far cheaper housing options offered to unqualified workers are expected to be affected by a lack of tenants, with the economic and political unrest forcing them to leave and return to their home countries.
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