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Lebanon’s real estate sector crumbles along with dreams

As Lebanon’s economic crisis devastates the housing sector, homeowners are faced with increasing payments and debt tied to the dollar and rising interest rates.
Cranes are seen at a construction site at Beirut's central district in Lebanon January 4, 2017. Picture taken  January 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi - RC193BCFC300

BEIRUT — “Our dream was to have a nice home so we could decorate the way we wanted,” Nour, not her real name, told Al-Monitor. “So we went searching for houses back in 2014.” A few blocks from where Nour sat at a Beirut cafe, protests over Lebanon's economic collapse and corruption among the country's ruling elite continued into their second month

Nour’s husband Ahmed, also a pseudonym, told Al-Monitor, “I was working in Saudi Arabia at the time, and between my salary and hers, we could afford something nice.” The young couple entered the housing market just after a real estate boom, when the sector constituted more than 40% of all banking loans in Lebanon. 

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