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Recent government decisions have "brought an end" to the stagnation and recession in the real estate sector, as the Department of Land and Survey (DLS) has witnessed a rise in footfall, the department's Spokesperson Talal Zaben said on Tuesday. The volume of apartment sales increased by 42 per cent to some 9,115 deals between October 21 and December 31, Zaben told The Jordan Times in a statement. The number of land plot sales reached 28,693, showing an increase of 59 per cent in comparison with the same period in 2018. A total of 32,502 land parcel sales have been recorded since May 9, 2019, when the government decided to exempt real estate owners from registration and transfer fees, registering a 73-per cent increase in comparison with the same period in 2018, according to Zaben. Companies have purchased 966 land plots since the launch of the first government economic incentive package on October 21, Zaben noted, adding that these plots are designated for investment projects "that will positively impact all other sectors". “The percentages are a significant indication of the real-estate sector’s recovery process, which under these figures shows more activity than other sectors,” Zaben said in the statement, attributing the increased trade to the incentive decisions. “Our role is to deliver accurate information and show the Cabinet actual figures as they exactly are in the sector,” the spokesperson said, noting that the real estate sector directly impacts over 60 sectors and indirectly impacts 70 sectors. “Admitting that there were problems is the first step towards success and reform in any sector,” he added. Zaben urged citizens to take advantage of the Cabinet decisions, which he said were included in the first executive package the government announced in October aimed at alleviating the burdens on limited-income citizens and enabling them to own real-estate. The Cabinet on Monday decided to extend exemption measures, and lower the registration and purchase fees of apartments and lands until the end of 2020. Under the exemption decision, the first 150 square metres of apartments and lands are exempted from registration and ownership transfer fees until the end of the year, regardless of the seller, the total area of the apartment or the number of apartments owned by each citizen. The remaining area of the apartment will be subject to lower fees and taxes, which total 50 per cent of the rates stipulated in the law. The decision also lowered land sale fees by 50 per cent of the rate specified in the law, including transactions among relatives, partners and others. The tax on real estate sales has also been lowered to 50 per cent of the rate stipulated in the law. On a related note, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority Chief Commissioner Nayef Bakhit on Tuesday announced that the preparations to sell lands to citizens under the new prices is 95-per cent complete, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. Bakhit said that the concerned committee completed the list of necessary conditions to own a land plot in the governorate, noting that implementation will begin in 2020.
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