Since 2012, OLX has established its presence in the Lebanese market and built a strong understanding of the Lebanese consumers’ behaviors and interests. On the Real Estate front, OLX Property has grown to become the #1 platform in Lebanon to buy, sell, or rent properties achieving more than 9 million visits, 2 million property listings, and 200 thousand unique users per month in 2021. As we are starting 2022, it is important to look back at last and extract the main trends we’ve witnessed in Lebanon’s real estate market.
2021: a Stabilization Year…
2020 was a Booming year when it comes to real estate. The demand for real estate on OLX Property increased by ~53% as the industry was perceived as a haven for investors and bank depositors. On the supply side, listings volumes were also maintained at high levels in 2020 with the economic crisis pushing property owners to exit their investment and close their loans. 2021, on the other hand was mainly about re-stabilization in terms of supply. As such the overall selling rate dropped compared to 2020 by approximately 41% but was maintained at the levels of 2019.
Looking at prices, they have also stabilized compared to 2020 with a drop of 25% on properties for sales and 40% on properties for rent. This can mainly be explained by the very high listings prices in 2020 related to cheque payments and a progressive shift to fresh payments towards the second half of 2021. However, overall, prices in 2021 are still above the averages of 2019.
…with a Maintained Interest in Real Estate
While the selling rate has shown to be lower than 2020, the intensity of the demand on OLX Property has increased in the last year whereby replies per listings grew by 17% between 2020 and 2021 on Properties for Sale and 7%(figure 5) on Properties for Rent. (figure 4)
On the Sale side (figure 6), the demand growth was focused a lot on Metn, Kesrouan, Baabda, and Jbeil and the growth on the rental side (figure 7) was mainly driven by Aley, Batroun, Jbeil, and Kesrouan.
Looking at property types, we noticed a very slow activity in Commercial properties considering the pandemic, the lockdown periods, and the general economical slowdown. This has accelerated the opportunity for Shared Offices and Coworking Spaces which have become more affordable and interesting for the growing number of Lebanese freelancers and SMEs.
Craze towards Investment Abroad
The Lebanese market was not the only market people had eyes for. On the contrary, Lebanese people showed interest in properties in Cyprus, Turkey and Greece which increased demand on international properties on OLX Property by 220% between 2020 and 2021. Simultaneously, the Lebanese brokers responded to this demand by going international and increasing the active listings in 2021 in the international region by around 70%. This trend will be very predominant during 2022 as most of the real estate brokers are now looking towards international markets, Lebanese investors are looking to place their funds in high-yield assets, and a wide range of Lebanese families are still looking into moving outside of the country