KABUL (Pajhwok): Property dealers in capital Kabul say house rents, prices and mortgages have fallen by more than 50 percent in the past six months following the collapse of the former regime and the deteriorating economic situation of people.
Pajhwok Afghan News talked about mortgage, rent and sale prices of residential houses in Kabul with property dealers in different parts of the capital. They say that in addition to reduced prices, their business has also declined and even some real estate agencies are on the brink of closure.
“Unfortunately, I have not mortgaged or sold any houses in the last six months since the new government came to power,” said Haji Mohammad Siddiqi, the owner of Haji Khairullah Real Estate Agency in Macro Ryan Awal area of Kabul.
He said the price of an apartment was $60,000 to $70,000 in the area around six months ago, but now the price had dropped to around $30,000. “We used to rent a three-room apartment for $300, but today we rent it for 7,000 to 8,000 afghanis,” he added.
“I cannot even afford to rent my own shop,” he said, citing changes in the political system and worsening economic problems in the country.
“There is a lot of change in sale and purchase of properties after 2014, but after the Islamic Emirate took power, the change is unimaginable,” he said.
He said there was currently zero sales as courts were still inactive to process the documents of real estates.
He said that before the fall of the previous government, an apartment was rented for $200 to $250, but now a best three-room apartment was rented for less than 9,000 afghanis. Similarly, the value of mortgage has been reduced from $30,000 to $ 10,000 to $ 15,000, but no is prepared to buy or get a house on mortgage, he added.
Haji Mohammad Nader Dost, owner of a real estate agency in KhairKhana area of Kabul said, “After the fall of the previous administration, all businesses affected, and our property agency is also collapsing.”
“Renting a modern apartment used to be 20,000 afghanis, but now no one rents it even for 8,000 afghanis, no one takes a house on mortgage anymore because no one wants to spend their money on houses,” he said.
Dost said, “An apartment that was previously mortgaged for $50,000, now no one is willing to take it even for $10,000. A house with 300 square meters of area and four or five rooms used to sell for $150,000, but now it has dropped to $ 80,000, which no one wants to buy.”
He said he made only three deals in the last three months compared to 10 deals in a month under the previous government. He is worried about his business as a property dealer.
Qari Abdullah, owner of Insaf Real Estate Agency, which has been active in Kabul for 15 years, says that no one takes houses on mortgage as people could not afford it and those who mortgaged houses previously, now cannot pay the money.
He said the selling price of apartments in Shahr-i-Naw area of Kabul has also been reduced by half or even less than that.He said that the price of a luxury house in the area, which was previously sold for$500,000, has now dropped to less than $200,000.
Abdullah was also worried about his declining business and said that he may close his agency if the situation did not improve.
Mohammad IdrisNikbin, a property dealer in Kabul’s Taimani area, says real estate businesses have affected following economic problems in the country.
“Currently we have no buyers. No one wants to invest their money, many people who went abroad or need some money sold their houses at a low prices,” he said.
He added that a four-room house, which was previously sold for $95,000 in the area, now valued $70,000. The rent of a four-room apartment, which used to be $300, has now been reduced to 15,000 afghanis (around $150).
“In the past, we had 10 deals in one month, but now it reduced to two deals in a month,” he said.
Owners of real estate agencies in other areas such as Dasht-i-Barchi, Macro Ryan, Qala-i-Najara and other parts of the city are also complaining about reduced prices of residential buildings and declining businesses.
However, some people are happy that rates of residential houses and apartments have dropped.
Haroon, a resident of Kabul city, was happy about declined prices of houses and apartments and said that the prices and rents of houses and apartments were very high before the fall of the previous government.
“I have lived in a rented house for 20 years and rented a three-room house for more than 10,000 afghanis, now I am very happy that the rent of the house has now reduced to 5,000 afghanis,” he said.
He asked the government to distribute land plots to people faced with economic problems and spent years of their life in rented houses.
Meanwhile, Najiba, another resident of Kabul city said, “We live in rented houses since the last two decades, we were faced with a lot of problems, the house owner was increasing the rent every months, but after Islamic Emirate came, the house owner reduced the rent.”
She hoped that the government would distribute land plots to needy people and also take action to implement a just price for residential houses and apartments.