Iran: Housing Becoming Increasingly Expensive And Unobtainable – OpEd


When Ebrahim Raisi was appointed as the Iranian regime’s president by supreme leader Ali Khamenei in August 2021, he promised: “We will build 4 million housing units!” He also promised to control inflation, including housing inflation.

According to official statistics of the regime in July 2021, the average price per square meter of housing was 309.7 million Iranian rials.  In less than three years, in February 2024, the Central Bank of the regime announced the price of each square meter of housing to be 810 million rials.

So, Raisi’s promise to control inflation seems to have resulted in a significant increase of 500 million rials in the price per square meter of housing. Currently, in the third year, there is no news of housing construction, and only one member of the Majlis (parliament) announced that “the production of 2 million units is on the agenda.” This means that there is only a mention of it on the agenda, without any concrete steps taken such as groundbreaking or actual construction.

In such circumstances, the impoverished people of Iran are increasingly facing a housing crisis every day. Those who had homes must migrate to cheaper areas and smaller, more dilapidated houses every few months. The situation is even more dire for those who were renting, as they undergo consecutive migrations. After a while, they join the ranks of millions of marginalized individuals, becoming homeless or living in inadequate housing.

Statistics confirm this grave situation. On August 27, the state-run Tosee Irani newspaper wrote that “18 to 38 million citizens are living in absolute poverty.”

Indeed, the issue of marginalization has escalated further. On October 25, 2023, Tejarat News website reported that “informal settlements in Iran are on the rise,” with “20 million people residing in inefficient structures, including informal settlements, historical areas, and deteriorated neighborhoods, as the population living below the absolute poverty line increases.”

In all official reports, there is no mention of a decrease in housing prices. Instead, charts, analyses, and projections indicate a continuing increase in housing prices. The only comparison available is the 814.4million rials per square meter price in February 2024, showing a 3.8% growth compared to the previous month (January). If we compare it to February 2022, we see a staggering 24.8% growth.

It may be surprising, but at the end of 2023, real estate experts strongly recommended to purchase property at this price of 814.4 million rials. Why so?

On March 2, Khabar Online news website quoted housing expert Mansour Gheibi as saying, “Given what the Raisi government has presented in its policies, inflation and price increases in services, goods, and properties, including housing, are inevitable,” and this inflation shows a “30% to 40% increase” for everything, including housing. “Of course, if the profiteering and exploitation system [i.e., the mafia of the ruling regime in Iran and the Revolutionary Guards] anticipates higher inflation, it is likely that this percentage will go even higher.”

In simple terms, Gheibi is saying that the policies of the Raisi government create housing inflation, which generates an expectation of further inflation. This provides an opportunity for the government mafia to further exploit the pockets of the people. It’s a two-step deception orchestrated by the Raisi government, the entire ruling regime, and the Revolutionary Guards. This is the reason behind the homelessness, inadequate housing, marginalization, and the increase in informal settlements for millions of Iranians.

Mahmoud Hakamian

Mahmoud Hakamian writes for The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), also known as Mujahedin-e-Khalgh (MEK)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *