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Iran’s Housing Crisis

President-elect Hassan Rouhani must tackle a seemingly intractable crisis in Iran’s housing sector.
EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on their ability to report, film or take pictures in Tehran. 

A general view of housing complexes in northwestern Tehran on a clear day February 12, 2011. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN - Tags: CITYSCAPE ENVIRONMENT) - RTR2IHNH
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The election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s new president has generated a lot of enthusiasm among Iranian society and the business elite. The significant drop in the value of the US dollar on the country’s free currency market is the surest sign that Rouhani’s victory has created a positive momentum. It remains to be seen whether the new government will manage to use it to tackle some of the urgent social and economic issues in the country. While many are focusing on basic issues such as inflation, unemployment and sanctions, society is facing another challenge that is not receiving enough attention: housing.

Iran's housing sector had been accustomed to ups and downs connected to investment cycles in the country. However, a number of factors have led to an unprecedented upheaval in Iranian housing, and the Rouhani government will need to develop a workable strategy to return the sector to a degree of normalcy.

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