Real estate.. Flaming prices exacerbate the housing crisis
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Haider Fleeh Al-Rubaie
The Iraqi Political Economic Center presented a proposal regarding real estate prices in Baghdad, and while he indicated that the application of central bank procedures would limit the rise in those prices, an economist called on the government to activate all its tools aimed at undermining real estate prices, suggesting setting a specific price for the prices of apartments in complexes residential.
Real estate prices have been witnessing, for a long time, continuous increases that have affected significantly the lives of low-income people who face great difficulties in purchasing them, despite the expansion in the construction of residential complexes, whose prices also witnessed significant increases, which prompted many observers to demand that the government By entering as a competitor in building housing units and selling them to employees and retirees at reasonable prices, with the aim of limiting the "crazy" real estate rise.
The director of the Iraqi Center, Wissam Hammal Al-Helou, said in a press statement: "The last three years witnessed a dramatic rise in real estate prices in the capital, Baghdad, whether in residential or commercial areas, exceeding their counterparts in London and Dubai, as the price per square meter reached more than 12 thousand dollars."
He added, "This increase coincided with the occurrence of large corruption operations, and it became clear that the majority of its funds were spent on buying real estate in commercial areas in Baghdad," calling on "the government, the Federal Integrity Commission, and the Central Bank of Iraq to check the sources of funds when applying to buy the property and before installing its data in the state's real estate registry." ".
And he suggested, "the use of an international legal consulting firm to review all sales contracts that the country has witnessed in recent years, whose numbers exceeded market prices, and to provide statements and documents confirming that they obtained funds through legitimate means," praising "the movement of the Central Bank of Iraq, which must enter into force quickly with the approval of banks." Iraq in the process of buying and selling real estate, whose value exceeds 500 million dinars, in order to combat money laundering by depositing the amount of the sold property in banks and then going through some procedures in the Real Estate Registration Department and other concerned parties.
He pointed out that "the application of these procedures strictly and judiciously, without exceptions, will limit the process of selling amounts at their prices as well as suspicious ones, and thus contribute to a decline in prices," explaining that "the majority of what happened in terms of buying and selling amounts of their value, it became clear through the investigations of the Integrity Commission that the sources of its funds were Because of corruption and theft of public money.
He called on "the government to reform the real estate registration system and make amendments to its law or other new legislation, to address the loopholes that allow thieves of public money to own real estate at inflated prices, while installing binding clauses in it about the sources of funds." Also, "changes must be made in the laws that oblige, for example, owners of funds not to repeat purchases at close intervals."
In turn, the researcher in economic affairs, Silwan Al-Nouri, believes that it is necessary for the government to intervene urgently through all its concerned departments in the face of the insane rise in housing, and to work to provide housing units at reasonable prices to distribute them among employees and retirees according to financial deductions commensurate with their incomes, indicating that this step is sufficient. Undermining unjustified prices for housing units.
Al-Nouri believes that “the initiatives of the Central Bank, banks and agencies specialized in granting real estate loans should be implemented in a real way, and that the capabilities of these financial agencies be raised in the next budget,” calling at the same time, to “impose harsh and strict measures in front of investment construction companies, And setting appropriate prices for the housing units that you build, especially after the large increases in the prices of many complexes that were built in Baghdad recently.
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