After conducting a study of residential properties in Beirut, we were surprised to learn that despite prices overall not moving much over the past three years, there are some areas that have bucked this trend. Five neighborhoods in Ashrafieh have increased by 10 to 21% during 2014.
- Mar Mikhael, one of the most up and coming neighborhoods of Beirut, went up by 21% and apartment prices are now between USD 3,500-4,500 per SQM for apartments in new buildings on the first floor.
- Saydeh is attracting new developers. Prices went up by 16% to reach USD 3,000-3,600 per SQM on the first floor.
- Sagesse still has several empty plots of land that are now being built. Prices went up by 14% to reach USD 3,500-3,800 per SQM on the first floor.
- Adlieh-Museum (Mathaf) has become very popular again lately. Prices have only increased by 10% and the neighborhood remains one of the cheapest areas of Ashrafieh at USD 2,300-3,400 per SQM on the first floor.
- Saifi has some very charming residential streets and has some very beautiful new projects. The area has also increased by 10% but has some of the highest prices in Ashrafieh that start at between USD 4,200-6,500 per SQM on the first floor.
So this may be a good time to buy in these areas, before they get more expensive. To see a list of properties for sale in Ashrafieh, click here.
Which neighborhoods offer the largest upcoming office stock?
Which retail destinations have the most vacancies?
The economic slowdown and the unstable security and political environment obviously affect the retail real estate market. There has never been as many empty retail units across Beirut as there are today. “For Rent” signs dot the windows of the city’s main shopping streets. Certain stores have been vacant for years. Rental values are too high compared to the potential returns that a tenant could hope to achieve. Still, many store owners refuse to drop their asking prices so that they are more in line with market reality. They do not realize that it is better – and more financially logical – to be satisfied with a smaller income than no income at all!
Which upcoming projects offer the biggest flats?
Three of the largest five apartments in Ashrafieh are located in the Golden Square of Furn el Hayek, the most luxurious neighborhood East of Beirut Central District. Not surprising, as owning an apartment larger than 1,200 SQM is a rare luxury, reserved only for the most prime of the high-end residential projects. These large apartments usually take up the last floor or floors of luxury high-rises, with breathtaking views of the city. Simplexes, duplexes, or triplexes, they often have large terraces or hanging gardens and some unique features not to be found in standard apartments, even those of very high standing. These rare products are exclusively reserved to a privileged few.
Which streets top the list?
Plots for sale in Ashrafieh are a rare product. Some areas have always had a special cachet, while others have developed an image over the past several years. The heart of prime Ashrafieh has traditionally been the area of Sursock, which now sits at the center of the area known as the “Golden Square.” The scarcity of land in the surrounding areas has spilled into neighboring areas, including Abdel Wahab el Inglizi Street or Georges Haimari Street. Other streets are prized for different reasons: Charles Malek Avenue, for instance, is Ashrafieh’s prime business center, while Georges Haddad Avenue has the advantage of sitting at the entrance to BCD. The highest land prices in Ashrafieh reach a value of around USD 2,500 per BUA.
Which areas are booming?
Ras Beirut used to be the traditional prime business destination of the capital. The area is sub-divided into different office hubs that have different characteristics due to the type of stock available and the clientele to which it caters. While the majority of Ras Beirut no longer attracts business – mainly due to an aging stock and lack of parking spaces, some neighborhoods are still popular because of their proximity to important commercial hubs, Hamra and Verdun. The two main attraction poles in Ras Beirut at the moment are AUBMC and Gefinor Center.
Where are the capital’s skyscrapers located?
Beirut is no exception to the world’s infatuation with skyscrapers. While Beirut hasn’t reached the record-breaking race to top the world’s tallest towers of the Gulf area and Asia, no less than 50 towers will be higher than 100 meters by 2015. The race for higher floors is justified by the higher profits that come from the increasing price of the upper levels, but also by the possibility to offer views that cannot be obstructed – highly prized by buyers. Indeed, the higher the tower, the smaller is the footprint on the plot, and the larger the space that can be landscaped. Ashrafieh is the new high-rise hub, with four of the five current tallest towers.
Where are Beirut’s largest land banks located?
It is becoming more and more difficult to find vacant land in the most popular neighborhoods of Beirut. However, some areas still represent important land banks that have tremendous future development potential. While the potential of some areas, such as BCD’s new Waterfront District, is well known and has the asking prices to prove it, others are less obvious or are still testing grounds that have not realized their full potential.