EghtesadOnline: First-time homebuyers have accounted for a 20% share of total home deals in the capital city Tehran, since the start of the third quarter of the current Iranian year (Sept. 23).
The data released by the Persian economic newspaper Donya-e-Eqtesad show about 5,000 deals for residential units were registered during the period under review.
Of this amount, about 1,000 deals were for residential units with an area of under 60 square meters, which are 15 years old or lower—the criteria required for applicants to obtain home purchase loans from the Housing Savings Account.
HSA, run by Bank Maskan, the agent bank of Iran's housing sector, requires applicants to make down payments and wait for a year to become eligible for cheap home loans. The scheme is for first-time homebuyers and the only affordable initiative through which first-time homebuyers can become homeowners, according to Financial Tribune.
According to the newspaper's field studies, people who really wanted to sell their homes and were not pursuing speculative transactions, had to "show more flexibility" compared to previous weeks, meaning they have had to compromise on their proposed prices.
The main reason is that the housing market in Tehran faced the seasonal downturn due to the commencement of the religious mourning months of Muharram and Safar.
Furthermore, the quarter also coincided with the start of the new school year, bringing the market down even further.
But a section of people looking to sell their homes insisted on their previous high price tags, which show that most likely they are not serious about selling their homes during the religious months. They wish to maintain the high value of their homes until the two months are over.
However, the fact that first-time homebuyers, who mostly lacked the additional purchasing power to cut a deal at a higher price and constitute a considerable portion of real demand, shows that those sellers may face problems in turning their properties into liquidity.
This will further accelerate the current sharp downturn gripping the Tehran market.
Housing markets across Iran have faced a decline in home deals coupled with rising prices due to an ongoing currency crisis in the past few months, but the capital city has had it worst of all.
In the sixth month of the current year that ended on Sept. 22, home prices in Tehran surged by 74% while deals fell by 33%.