Realtors say the rise in oil prices, and particularly the rise in the Kuwaiti barrel of oil which exceeded 110 dollars, as an incentive for the government to accelerate the completion of housing projects, and to end the suffering of thousands of Kuwaiti families who have been waiting for decades to receive the home of a lifetime, at a time when those on the ‘waiting list’ end up paying about a third of their salaries on rents, but they stressed at the same time that the liquidity is not the only obstacle to solving the housing problem.
The realtors told a local Arabic daily that failure to take advantage of the revenues provided by the recent jump in the price of a barrel to reduce the volume of existing housing requests by moving forward with the implementation of projects means a loss of an opportunity that may not last long, especially since oil prices are subject to fluctuations from time to time, and their rise is unsustainable.
However, the failure to accelerate the completion of housing projects means a continuation of the housing crisis with its negative effects, not only material, but also social and behavioral on Kuwaiti society, especially the youth group, as according to the Central Administration of Statistics, the number of Kuwaitis under the age of 34 is about 953,380 and constitute 68.5 percent of the total number of citizens, while most of this category lives in the family home or they rent apartments, because they cannot own an apartment or a house.
While the real estate agents indicated that the availability of liquidity was the most important obstacle to the delay of some projects, citing the step taken by the government to increase the capital of the Credit Bank to distribute 11,428 plots of land, they stressed that there are technical and administrative obstacles as well that prevent ending this old issue, pointing out that the solution must be integrated and long-term by involving the private sector in order to speed up the achievement and get rid of the bureaucracy, and to reduce the state’s grip on the lands.
For his part, the head of the Real Estate Brokers Association, Abdulaziz Al-Dughaishem, said that the liquidity problem that the government has been suffering from during the past years will end when the price of Kuwaiti oil exceeds 130 dollars, with expectations of an increase in Kuwait’s oil revenues of 8 billion dinars during the current fiscal (2021/2022) compared to the budgeted estimate.
He pointed out that this would motivate the government to expedite the resolution of the housing issue, after liquidity — according to government statements — prevented the implementation of some projects and delayed others, especially if the rise in Kuwaiti oil barrels continued for longer periods.
Al-Dughaishem stated that the housing issue needs an integrated solution based on the state’s liberation of lands and easing its grip on them, as the proportion of urban lands does not exceed 8 percent at present, which means that Kuwait has vast number of vacant areas, in addition to the need to involve the private sector.
The availability of liquidity with the government calls for delay in approving the mortgage law in order not to burden the citizen with other burdens.
In turn, the real estate expert, Suleiman Al-Dulaijan, considered that the delay in resolving the housing issue is not only due to the lack of liquidity, but rather there are technical and administrative obstacles that prevent it, stressing the importance of introducing the private sector to complete housing projects instead of the government to shorten bureaucratic procedures.
The CEO of Aqar Investment Company, Khaled Mirza, confirmed that the government can now accelerate the pace of projects planned in Kuwait Vision 2035, such as the suburb of South Abdullah Al Mubarak, which is scheduled to be implemented in 2025, and South Saad Al Abdullah, and South Sabah Al Ahmad, which are supposed to be completed by 2029, stressing the need to exploit the revenues generated by high oil prices because it is not sustainable.
He stated that the speedy implementation of these projects provides about 58 thousand housing units (30,000 in the south of Saad Al-Abdullah, 25,000 in the south of Sabah Al-Ahmad, and 3 thousand in the suburb of Abdullah Al-Mubarak) at a total cost of 850 million dinars, indicating that the completion of these projects will reduce existing housing requests which currently stands at about 94 thousand, or about 61 percent.
Mirza emphasized that the delay in resolving the housing issue has negative social and behavioral effects on the youth of Kuwaiti society.
He explained that, according to the Central Administration of Statistics, the number of Kuwaitis under the age of 34 is about 953,380, constituting 68.5 percent of the total number of citizens, noting that most of this category lives in the family home or they rent apartments and houses, because they cannot own an apartment. or a house.