Bahrain's real estate sector on growth path
Manama, May 8, 2013
Bahrain's real estate sector has experienced considerable growth in activity over the last few months, key industry representatives participating in the Gulf Property Show said.
Calling the exhibition well-timed, representatives of exhibitors and sponsors including Manara Developments, Bahrain Financial Harbour and Saar Central unanimously said the government and the private sector have together undertaken various initiatives and significant steps to revitalise the country's economy in order to overcome the negative impact of the protests.
These measures, including the ongoing exhibition, are important to regain confidence amongst all stakeholders and visitors and to increase demand, they added.
"The demand for high-quality units with extensive facilities and new developments remain buoyant," Diyar Al Muharraq chief operating officer Yousif Al Thawadi told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
According to Saudi-based realtor Venugopal Rao, who visited the exhibition to get an update on Bahrain's property market, the resurgence in interest was primarily driven by a combination of competitive lease and sales rate offerings, rent free periods and office fit-outs paid by the landlord.
"The residential rental market towards the end of last year has seen more renters seeking 'best value for money' options," he added.
Delmon Gate financial management consultant Mohammed Shaban said the company had already executed transactions worth BD2.3 million ($6 million) in the first four months of the current year and was optimistic about the new 'suq mall' project being showcased at the exhibition.
Grnata Property Management and Development's Budaiya branch manager Mohsen Al Zaimoor said demand for residential property was nearly 70 per cent more than last year and he expected the uptick to continue.
"We took over the Ishbiliya project about a year back and have already sold more than 60 per cent of houses," he said.
"We have some new housing projects coming up in Hamala, Shakura, Umm Al Hassam and other areas and are already seeing good interest in them.
Kuwait-based developer Alargan's sales executive Zainab Alsinni, who is based in Bahrain, said there is a significant shortage of affordable housing units in Bahrain, which is what companies like hers are primarily focused on through projects like Jeyoun in the Bukhowa area.
"Of the 82 villas, 64 have already been sold and the rest should be snapped up soon," she said.
"We have a shopping and entertainment complex coming up near the Jeyoun project. It's almost half done with the launch planned for December," she added.
CBRE reported earlier that the total value of real estate transactions in Bahrain grew by 46 per cent last year.
The biggest increase came from Bahrainis and non-GCC expatriates - although the increase by expatriates was more down to the delayed registration of purchases they had made in previous years than new purchases.
Cluttons had noted that the residential sales sector was seeing a spike in foreign investment from the GCC, which perceived the market to have 'bottomed out.'
"This renewed interest in investing in property in Bahrain has created a window of opportunity for some landlords to exit investments made at the peak of the market, with manageable losses," the real estate specialist had said.-TradeArabia News Service