Property prices in Damascus and a number of Syrian cities have risen again, while destruction in areas beyond the control of the regime has widely increased.
The World Bank estimates the number of destroyed homes in Syria at 1.7 million, i.e. 27 percent of Syria's total housing, with an estimated infrastructure value of about $60 billion.
The price of a small two-bedroom house in an average area is about $100,000. Real estate prices in newly emerging areas such as Al-Razi (in Damascus), close to the Iranian Embassy on Mezze Street, are expected to reach a record high. A 100-meter apartment in this area, which is still planned, is expected to reach to 250 million Syrian pounds (about $538,000).
The deputy minister of housing and urban development in Bashar al-Assad's regime, Nasr Younis, attributed the rise to "the lack of available land for construction, the multiplicity of the authorities operating in the housing sector and the high prices of building materials and labor wages, in addition to the high rate of population growth disproportionate to economic growth and development, which has led to increased demand for supply and high property prices."
The government is looking at re-launching housing loans that were stopped seven years ago. But Finance Minister Mamoun Hamdan said that "the financial mass available to public lending in the public banks does not exceed 300 billion Syrian pounds, and about 100 billion in private banks."
The rise in prices is not limited to the purchase of homes, with rents registering an impressive increase.
This increase coincides with the regime's talk about projects and agreements reached with Russia to give it a large share in the "reconstruction of Syria."
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.