GALLERY

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In recent years, the construction industry of Iran has been thriving due to an increase in national and international investment to the extent that it is now the largest in the Middle East region. The Central Bank of Iran indicate that 70 percent of the Iranians own homes, with huge amounts of idle money entering the housing market. 

The annual turnover in the construction industry amounts to US$38.4 billion. The real estate sector contributed to 5% of GDP in 2008. Statistics from March 2004 to March 2005 put the number of total Iranian households at 15.1 million and the total number of dwelling units at 13.5 million, signifying a demand for at least 5.1 million dwelling units. Every year there is a need for 750,000 additional units as young couples embark on married life. At present, 2000 units are being built every day although this needs to increase to 2740 units.

This large-scale transfer of mostly public land, coupled with the absence of enforceable regulation, transformed Iran’s urban geography. Between 1979 and 1982, 75 percent of all new construction in Tehran occurred outside the formal city limits, where satellite villages were transformed into sprawling suburbs. Remarkably, by 1986 urban housing stock had doubled, as Housing Ministry surveys showed that more than half of all urban dwellings in the entire country had been built after the revolution. It was private individuals who built these 2.3 million new units. The state merely transferred the public land into private hands; its share of investment in housing construction (affordable or otherwise) was less than 2 percent of the total after the revolution. Following an extraordinary boom in the Iranian real estate market between 2004 and 2007, activity in this market suddenly slowed down from early 2008. In 2009, construction activity was at its lowest level for the past eight years. Since 2010, this sector has experienced a modest recovery.