When it comes to hot real estate locales, there are few spots hotter in the Middle East than Kuwait, unique in the region for a variety of reasons, the most obvious being its city-state status. Kuwait has the fourth largest income per capita according to the World Bank, making it one of the most prosperous nations in the region.
Kuwait is also known for its distinctly expatriate feel, which isn’t by accident—while roughly 4.2 million people live in Kuwait, less than 2 million of them are native Kuwaitis. Immigrants and expatriates are actually the majority in Kuwait, meaning that if you’re looking for somewhere in the Middle East that has all the intrigue and multiculturalism of a vibrant expatriate community while still feeling like “home,” Kuwait might be just the place.
Kuwait, the West, and Real Estate
There are a lot of things to find attractive about Kuwait from a Western perspective. For one thing, the nation is one of the more diplomatic and one of the most democratic nations in the region. It has a diverse and vibrant cultural landscape, with the performing arts in particular being especially well-represented within the region. In addition, ties with the West in general and the United States in particular have improved since 1991, again largely due to the Gulf War and UN intervention therein. Add to that the fact that expatriates are in the majority, with large swaths of the city-state given over to different cultures from around the world, and it’s not hard to see how Kuwait has become one of the preferred travel and business destinations for Westerners in the past couple of decades.
All of this, in turn, has contributed greatly to the demand for real estate in Kuwait. The GDP of Kuwait is projected to grow between 10-15% in the next couple years, with some real estate forecasts predicting a similar trend in demand for real estate in the popular city-state.
The Housing Market in Kuwait Today
So what is the housing market actually like in Kuwait today?
In a word: competitive.
On the one hand, increased demand has led to something of a seller’s market in Kuwait. With the demand so great, you can bet Kuwait real estate is a hot commodity. While there are certainly more high-profile nations, cities, and attractions in the Middle East, Kuwait’s economic prosperity and size have raised real estate there to be priced at a premium. With its population of 4.2 million, it’s roughly equivalent to a city just larger than Los Angeles proper, so is it better to compare Kuwait’s market to cities or nations? We tend to have different expectations for national as opposed to regional and city-specific housing markets, and in this context, Kuwait is, once again, unique.
Still, that very uniqueness has helped such a tiny nation carve out a pretty big niche for itself in the Middle Eastern economic, political, and cultural landscape, making that premium Kuwaiti real estate well worth the search—and price.