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Amman municipality, developers still discussing housing regulations

By Dana Al Emam - Jun 20,2015 - Last updated at Jun 20,2015

The majority of Jordanians need 80-120-square-metre apartments, according to the Jordan Housing Developers Association (JT file photo)

AMMAN — Discussions are still under way between housing developers and the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) on a number of “critical” issues, a sector insider said Saturday.

“We have not signed any agreements or memoranda of understanding yet… we hope to seal a deal this week,” Jordan Housing Developers Association (JHDA) council member Nidal Daoud said.

He told The Jordan Times that the meetings focused on GAM’s housing regulations, as well as population density, which governs the number of apartments and housing units allowed on a single plot of land.

“The municipality tries to minimise the number of apartments through an equation that resulted in a decrease in housing investments and a hike in apartment prices,” Daoud claimed.

He explained that the majority of Jordanians need 80-120-square-metre apartments, and the deliberations seek to come up with a new equation that permits smaller apartments in a manner that “maintains the beauty of the city”.

“There is a growing need for apartments, with some 70,000 marriages every year,” he added, calling for a “quick” solution so the situation does not worsen.

The discussions with GAM also addressed the duration of administrative procedures, as systematic and quick procedures encourage investments, according to Daoud.

Real estate trading last year registered a record JD7.76 billion, 22 per cent higher than in 2013 when it stood at JD6.34 billion, according to the Department of Lands and Survey.

However, it dropped by 26 per cent in the first quarter of this year, according to the JHDA.

Daoud cited a slowdown in the performance of some of the 70 sectors and industries related to the housing sector, including concrete, aluminium and engineering.

Commenting on the association’s decision last month to freeze investors’ transactions with GAM for a month, Daoud said the move was “positive on several levels” as the majority of investors took part in the protest, adding, however, that escalatory measures will follow “if our demands are not met”.

The housing investment sector employs over 150,000 Jordanians, with the number of indirect beneficiaries amounting to 150,000 individuals.

 

Officials at GAM were not available for comment despite repeated attempts by The Jordan Times to reach them.

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