Property prices rose fast in Baghdad in recent years, going up 50% and even 100% in many places. Now, Nina News reports that property-price rises in Wasit Province, halfway between Baghdad in central Iraq and Basra in the south-east, are "insane".
Prices in the province are far exceeding those of neighbouring ones. The price per square metre in some areas of the capital Al Kut, on the river Tigris, now exceeds the prices of comparable properties in many developed countries, such as Norway, with the price per square metre now 1m dinars (US$860).
House prices have risen during the world economic crisis, despite food, cars, energy and other supplies falling in price. The blame is split between speculators and lack of supply. Social changes, with more divorce and more families splitting into smaller units, is also cited as a contributory factor.
Professor of Sociology Mohammed Saleh believes that more housing units need to be created for younger people and the right to re-sell should be postponed for 20 years to control speculation.
The Iraqi government is looking to build at least two million housing units in order to remove the shortage of liveable properties in Iraq.
(Source: Nina News, Iraq Business News)