Author Archives: Karim Makarem

The view from Beirut

The view from Beirut

Reading Time: 6 minutes All of the figures revealed by RAMCO’s research department confirm a slump in Beirut’s real estate market. A finer analysis of these figures yields some hopeful – and other more worrying – conclusions. Actual drops are higher than recorded The RAMCO price index, published for the third consecutive year earlier in 2016, reveals two years

Surviving the slump

Reading Time: 6 minutes The real estate market is the subject of much speculation, usually the negative kind. There are very few optimists who still see it as a lucrative sector. Yet the reality is not so bleak. Demand exists but only for the right product at the fair market price. Prices have started to adjust but effective drops

Surviving a slow market

Reading Time: 3 minutes Without a radical improvement in the political and security climates, Lebanon’s real estate market is unlikely to pick up. The market thus continues to stagnate as the economic, political and security situations continue to deteriorate. The picture may look gloomy, but it is not desperate. Demand may have slowed but it exists, with professional developers

High price madness

Reading Time: 3 minutes Residential development trends are catchy. Companies in Lebanon very often adopt whatever seems to be working best or whatever is applied most on the residential market. Why reinvent the wheel, indeed? While this maxim may hold true in many instances and certainly simplifies life, the underlying reason behind a particular strategy may be diluted or

Plus properties construction works in Ashrafieh Beirut.

Misleading law on measurements

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lebanon has witnessed an upheaval in recent months over the new law liberating old rental contracts. Inflamed, people took to the streets, some for — some against. While the rental law reopened the public debate over the implications of real estate legislation on social equity, the need for fair and adequate property legislation is hardly

Bella Casa suspension: real estate on the edge?

Reading Time: 3 minutes According to a report in French-language magazine Le Commerce du Levant, prominent Lebanese developer MENA Capital recently decided to discontinue a major residential project. This is the first time in years that a well-known company with great experience in mega developments has officially pulled the plug on a flagship project. The official reason: the very

Lebanese real estate – things aren’t all bad

Reading Time: 3 minutes The stagnation that characterized the real estate market during 2012 continued throughout 2013. Bad? Perhaps. Stagnation, however, is not regression, and that’s definitely a positive sign. While the market was indeed sluggish this past year, it has managed to remain relatively stable despite nearly a year without a government, a shrinking economy, growing security tensions

Structural rehab

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Beirut cityscape is dotted — and often blotted — by rundown skeletons of abandoned sites — industrial warehouses, storage depots, schools, etc. Whether the remnants of former industrial sites destroyed during the civil war or warehouses replaced by larger and cheaper alternatives outside the city’s municipal borders, these are buildings often made of crude

Making the most of a bad market

Reading Time: 3 minutes Investing in a tight market is never easy. Choosing the correct product, paying the correct price, renting at the correct value, building the correct typology: these are much more crucial to achieve in a stagnating market than they are in a booming market. A slow market does not forgive mistakes of judgment. Sitting on the

Beirut must develop horizontally

Reading Time: 3 minutes Beirut is a growing city. It extends well beyond its official municipal borders, and there is pressure for it to spread even farther. The need to accommodate young families and individuals demands a wholesome living environment, and so does the future of Beirut and its property sector. Planners, developers and real estate professionals have urgent