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EghtesadOnline: Population growth and rural migration in urban areas, along with the rise in rents and home prices, have driven many people to the suburban areas of cities and consequently contributed to the rise in social harms.

In the fiscal 2020-21, as many as 90,000 people were added to the population of those living in the suburban areas of metropolises and large cities. The total population of new towns exceeded one million, which was 2.2 times more than the annual average population of migrants over the last two decades, the Persian daily Arman-e Melli reported. 

Urban marginalization has deprived thousands, if not millions, of basic amenities; absence of security has led to the jump in crimes in these areas. The phenomenon is not restricted to Tehran. Marginalization is on the rise in smaller cities like Kurdestan and big cities such as Mashhad. 

Farshad Momeni, an economist and university professor, believes that the debate on the quality of growth has been derailed and people are becoming desensitized about poverty-generating policies. 

“But seriously, shouldn’t you be sensitive about the fact that the number of people living in suburban areas now constitute one-fourth of the country’s population?” he asks. 

In other words, as many as 20 million people have been driven out of cities to suburban areas with the least urban amenities.

Hamidreza Saremi, an official with Tehran Municipality, noted that there is a need for 150,000 new homes in the capital city. 

“Eighty percent of the residents of Tehran are living below the housing poverty line. Tehran accounts for 11% of Iran’s population. According to international indicators, only Damascus is in a situation worse than Tehran, while the law requires the municipality to plan and improve housing. A total of 43% of Tehran residents are tenants compared with 25% of population in other parts of the country,” he said.

Asghar Mohajeri, a sociologist, says, “Urban marginalization in our country is very alarming. Urban officials admit that 24 million people are living in suburbs. From a social perspective, we have to put that number at 40 million.” 

He pointed out that urban marginalization is synonymous with people deprived of appropriate living standards, including adequate housing and accommodation. 

“People living on rooftops and stairwells; living in underground canals or even in tents along highways are other forms of informal settlements you can see in Chabahar and Bandar Abbas. Urban marginalization is a serious concern threatening more than half of the country’s population today. Studies show urban marginalization is the root cause of social harms,” he said.



Tehran Home Sales Hit 11-Month Low

The number of home sales in Tehran, as reported by the Central Bank of Iran on a monthly basis, has reached an 11-month low amid the ever-rising year-on-year prices. 

The CBI data show a total of 3,427 homes were sold in the capital city during the first month of the current fiscal year (March 21-April 20), registering a 49.9% drop compared with the preceding month but a 63.7% increase compared with the same month of last year. 

According to the report, the average price of each square meter of a residential property in Tehran stood at 342.73 million rials ($1,224) during the month under review, registering a 16.9% rise over the preceding year’s same month, when average prices stood at 293.23 million rials ($1,047). 

Home prices in the capital city decreased by 2.4% compared to 351.2 million rials ($1,255) in the 12th month of the previous fiscal year. 

During the month ending April 20, residential properties up to five years old constituted the biggest proportion of deals at 28.7% (or 984 deals), down by 6.3 percentage points compared with the same month of last year. 

The lost share was added to homes with a lifespan of 11 to 15 years and over 20 years. They accounted for 16.3% and 22% of total deals compared with the same month of last year’s 13.5% and 13.5% respectively. 

The distribution of dealt properties indicates that among Tehran’s 22 districts, District 5 grabbed the biggest share of total deals at 15.6%, which was followed by district 10 with a share of 10.7%, and districts 2 and 4 each with a share of 8%, respectively. 

All-in-all, 10 districts (5, 10, 2, 4, 14, 7, 8, 1, 15 and 11) grabbed the lion's share of deals at 73.9%, with the remaining 12 districts holding a 26.1% share.

Among Tehran's 22 districts, District 1 registered the highest average home price of 751.6 million rials ($2,686) per square meter. District 18 offered the capital city's cheapest homes with an average per-square meter price of 157.7 million rials ($563). The aforesaid figures show a respective increase of 12.5% and 17.3% YOY.

Residential units with an average price range of 200 million rials ($714) to 250 million rials ($893) per square meter were the most popular in Tehran during the Iranian month under review, as they accounted for 15.7% of all deals. They were followed by units priced at 250 million rials to 300 million rials ($1,072) per square meter with a share of 14.3% and homes priced at 150 million rials ($536) to 200 million rials per square meter with a share of 13.7%.  

From the total number of deals, 59.3% belonged to homes cheaper than the average per-square meter price of the city (i.e., 342.7 million rials or $1,224). 

Residential units with a floor area of 50-60 and 60-70 square meters registered the highest number of sales each with 15.2% share of total deals.  

Units with an area of 70-80 and 40-50 square meters ranked second and third with a respective share of 11.8% and 10.5%. All-in-all, residential properties with an area of under 80 square meters had a 56.3% share of total deals. 

The data indicate that Tehran’s homes worth between 10 billion rials ($35,739) and 15 billion rials ($53,609) were the most popular with a share of 19.1% from the total deals. These were followed by homes with a price tag of between 5 billion rials ($17,869) and 10 billion rials, as well as those priced at 15 billion rials to 20 billion rials ($71,479) with a respective share of 12.7% and 12.4% of total deals. 

Collectively, homes valued under 20 billion rials had a 45.3% share of total home deals in Tehran during the first fiscal month.  

The central regulator also reported changes in tenancy prices in the capital city and across urban areas. 

According to CBI, prices of rented residential units in Tehran and across urban areas increased by 45.6% and 50.1% respectively during the first fiscal month compared with the corresponding month of last year.


Urban Marginalization