Verdun is an established, prestigious residential address – from a quiet suburban neighborhood containing individual villas surrounded by gardens, it developed into a good quality residential neighborhood of Ras Beirut in the 1960s and early 1970s. The southern part of Verdun, from Goodies toward Saeb Salam (Mazraa) Boulevard, is the most expensive. It is thus more dynamic as it enjoys affluent demand and has the most recent developments. While the overall image of Verdun remains upscale, the new supply, particularly the one on Verdun Street, has become slightly less up-market. Still, the name of Verdun enjoys an excellent reputation and attracts sustained and stronger demand .
There are currently seven projects taking place in the area of Verdun. Altogether, they offer a total residential area of around 68,000 SQM, or slightly more than 205 apartments. This reflects an average apartment size of around 330 SQM, which is a net decline from the large apartment sizes that formerly characterized the prime neighborhood of Verdun. Overall, however, the better-quality projects under construction in Verdun are signed by some of the leading developers in the construction industry. In particular, two of the most recent projects under construction are mega-developments that offer all the amenities modern residential towers are expected to have. The past several years have seen residential developments on Verdun Street (Rachid Karameh Street), which was shunned by developers during the 1980s and 1990s, when the street attracted strictly commercial (office and retail) projects.
Verdun has traditionally attracted the moneyed local elite, looking for a large family home as a primary residence. Over the past few years, however, demand has been changing. First, demand is shifting from high-income households to the upper-middle market. This is reflected in the shrinking size of apartments, ideally around 250 SQM, to adapt to shrinking budgets, which currently range between USD 1 – 1.5 million. Today, demand is shifting from the local social Ras Beiruti elite to the expatriate community, particularly the African Diaspora. Because many new buyers do not live permanently in Lebanon, demand is characterized by a small pied-à-terre in Beirut and not a primary residence, and by the growing number of investors buying to rent or sell. Verdun’s popularity remains intact, with an absorption rate of more than 55% across all new projects currently under construction in the area.
Despite the changing profile and budgets of the new Verdun buyers, the area remains among the highest priced in Ras Beirut, mainly due to its very strong positive image and high social standing. Starting asking prices vary between USD 3,600 and USD 5,500 per SQM, depending mainly on the project’s exact location. The internal streets of southern Verdun are the most prized, with starting asking prices ranging between USD 4,700-5,500 per SQM. These prices may be boosted by the arrival of ABC Verdun around the year 2020. Northern Verdun is less pleasant and has a lesser commercial cachet. Starting asking prices between the Verdun Police headquarters and the BLOM Bank headquarters stand around USD 3,600 and USD 4,500 per SQM.
Verdun Residential Market
- Number of projects under construction 7
- Total BUA under construction 67,779
- Number of apartment units under construction 205
- Average size of apartments under construction 330
- Starting asking sales prices* in southern Verdun (USD/SQM) 4,700 – 5,500
- Starting asking sales prices* in northern Verdun (USD/SQM) 3,600 – 4,500
* On the first floor