Time is not ripe to allow expatriate ownership of real estate in Kuwait, said chairman of Kuwait Real Estate Association Tawfiq Al-Jarrah on Wednesday. He said this possibility would come about after much research was done on it. He was talking to KUNA on the sidelines of a forum on real estate sponsored by the Association. He emphasized the imperative that the government free up enormous tracts of land for housing development, which subsequently would drive real estate prices down, since currently they were exorbitantly high. Affirming the paucity in the availability of land for housing development, Al-Jarrah noted that at this juncture about 14,000 housing plots existed in the marketplace, ready to be sold to those who could afford their inflated prices, although actual demand from the public for affordable housing plots exceeded 105,000. This discrepancy in the supply and demand curve was driving the prices through the roof, he said. He urged the government, which is virtually the sole provider of housing plots to the public, to create an independent agency whose task would be to perennially study and gauge the local real estate market, in particular the housing market, and decide on what future course it would be necessary to follow to ensure that Kuwaiti citizens would be guaranteed of reasonably priced housing plots to build or existent homes to purchase.