It’s a tougher real estate market than it was. Banker’s cheques are increasingly being passed over by sellers as a mode of payment in favor of cash, as the rate for cheques drawn on local banks plunged to 16 percent of their face value.
Realtors advise local buyers to buy what is available to rescue their cash from banks, while sellers still stubbornly hold on to unrealistically high asking prices, most are in no hurry to sell.
The future of the market is expatriate Lebanese, according to Massaad Fares, director of Prime Consult real estate consultants. “An expatriate in Australia or America who worked hard all his life and saved couldn’t hope to buy a $3 million unit in Ashrafieh, today that same unit goes for $480,000 in fresh dollars and is now within his reach,” Fares said, adding that the only question is will there be sufficient supply to feed potential future expatriate demand.
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