Oman residential property 'in demand'
Muscat, October 10, 2011
The demand for residential properties in Oman is expected to increase over the coming months as the economy continues its recovery in the Sultanate, said a report by real estate specialist Cluttons.
Despite the impact of the global recession, indicators suggest that Oman’s economy is expected to recover and grow with government income rising to RO5.4 billion in the first half of 2011, the report stated.
This 29 per cent rise in income can be mostly attributed to the increase in oil revenues, Cluttons in its Q3 market report.
In addition, strong employment figures for both Omani and expatriate employees in the private sector indicate that the Oman economy is in good health.
The Omani employee numbers in the private sector have grown by 20.7 per cent from 2008 to 2010.
In capital Muscat, demand in the residential rental market has remained steady with the expectation that it will rise as the economy continues its recovery, the report said.
Established, central areas such as Qurum and Madinat Qaboos remain extremely popular while the coastal areas of Azaiba and Ghubrah North have become increasingly attractive with significant development over recent years.
ITC developments such as The Wave and Muscat Hills show strong demand while the Bausher area is very much up and coming, the report stated.
While location still very much dictates desirability, Cluttons pointed out that properties with superior design, thoughtful planning and high-grade facilities were in high demand.
Properties at The Wave and Muscat Hills are in demand due to their design, setting
and facilities, despite their separation from the central area.
The Bausher area has also shown rapid recent development and has become increasingly attractive due to its access to the recently opened Muscat Expressway, it added.
According to Cluttons, significant rises in residential rental values in the two years up until up until mid-2008 resulted in extensive development activity as landowners sought to exploit favourable market conditions.
The results of this development activity are now being introduced into the market and are contributing to an over-supply of residential rental properties across the capital area, particularly for residential apartments, the expert said.
According to Cluttons, tenants are looking for well designed and built properties with features such as good quality fixtures and fittings, outdoor space, excellent maintenance and leisure facilities.
'We foresee a two tier market developing where well designed properties suited to tenant desires have relatively stable rental values and high occupancy rates while properties which are poorly designed or built have declining rental values and increasing voids,' it said.
A relatively new trend that has become evident is a strong and increasing demand for fully-furnished apartments as contracts become shorter and expatriate residents more transient.
'Our experience is that companies looking to take a number of apartments within a development often ask that they be fully furnished,' said Cluttons.
With positive government figures and an encouraging residential outlook, it is clear that Oman is looking robust but is still heavily dependent upon oil revenue as its main income, the report added.-TradeArabia News Service