Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Iraq: Baghdad real estate market heats up.

But sectarian divisions persist.

"the few mixed districts where sectarian violence was minimal command some of the highest prices." Returning Baghdadis are experiencing sticker shock.

A dramatic fall in violence has breathed life into Baghdad's once moribund property market, although the hunt for homes in Sunni and Shiite enclaves bodes ill for sectarian reconciliation in the Iraqi capital. Real estate prices have doubled in some parts of Baghdad in recent months and many properties sell or are leased as soon as they hit the market, say the city's realtors, who as recently as last year were jobless as sectarian killings raged in the city. "Last year there was lots of real estate to sell and no buyers. Now it's the opposite. There's not enough for sale. If you put something up for sale, it's immediately sold," said Abdullah Jasim of the Al-Noor real estate agency.