Iraq’s western Anbar Governorate is in the grip of a major real estate boom. The rise in property prices applies to both commercial and residential units, with rents also increasing in recent years. While the trend is part of a wider housing crisis in Iraq, provincial and federal authorities are only now beginning to acknowledge the extent of the problem. As elsewhere in the country, the impact of rising property prices and rents are most keenly felt by Anbar’s working and middle classes.
Abed Alwan Al-Dulaimi, a resident of Fallujah—one of Anbar’s largest cities—spoke to Amwaj.media about the housing crisis. Dulaimi has long dreamed of becoming a homeowner. But his rent of 350,000 IQD (269 USD) consumes most of the monthly salary of 678,000 IQD (522 USD) he receives from the local government department where he works. After paying rent, Dulaimi struggles to put food on the table for his family of three. Speaking to Amwaj.media, he blamed the government for not directly tackling the property crisis in Anbar, saying that surging prices set by estate agents and brokers are not controlled.
The political connections of some estate agents can create additional issues, Dulaimi explained, charging that “if a person is affiliated with an influential [political] party in the governorate, he gets a discount on real estate.” According to Dulaimi, the “discount” can sometimes...
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