Oman housing market 'recovering'
Muscat, January 8, 2012
The housing market in Oman has started showing signs of recovery amid strong demand for centrally-located furnished properties and complexes with lifestyle facilities in Muscat, according to real estate expert Cluttons.
Cluttons, in its 2011 review of the Sultanate's residential property activity, said the leasing market witnessed the most interesting shift in balance between the tenants and owners expectations, with many more property variables such as design, style, location, age and size, as well as superior facilities affecting pricing.
'Average tenant budgets have fallen over recent years while, conversely, the expectations of tenants have risen as they seek greater quality and value for money,' said the Cluttons report.
'Tenants will continue to look for well designed and built properties with features such as good quality fixtures & fittings, outdoor space, excellent maintenance and leisure facilities,' it stated.
It is apparent that tenants are increasingly willing to compromise on the size and even location of a property rather than on its quality, it added.
Cluttons said it foresees a two-tier market continuing to develop 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.
The earlier part of 2011 had signaled the start of a more stable and recovering housing market, said the real estate specialist in its review.
'Buoyed by increased oil prices and a robust economy, demand in the residential housing market has never been stronger, but under the constraints of a continuing oversupplied market, buyers and tenants will be very much governing the real estate trends for 2012,' it added.
According to Cluttons, this variable market was putting downward pressure on landlords, and creating a shift from the ‘good times’ to a new residential phase.
In 2012 landlords will have to work harder to compete and provide real value for money, by meeting tenants expectation, the real estate specialist said.
Oman’s ITC (Integrated Tourist Complexes), said the report, continued to be in high demand, although this has not risen dramatically over the course of the year.
In conjunction improved infrastructure by way of the newly completed expressway, has given rise to increased demand for the outer lying areas as they become more accessible, said Cluttons, which is currently celebrating its 25th year of operation in the Sultanate.
In the centre of Muscat, Cluttons has noted increased demand for fully furnished apartments, with modern high quality finishes and lifestyle amenities.
'The sales market continues to be fluid and somewhat unpredictable with both buyers and owners playing a waiting game within the residential property market,' it stated.
However with new projected plans for housing scheduled to go online in 2012 in the local and ITC markets, Cluttons said it was cautiously optimistic about the growth of the residential real estate market for 2012.-TradeArabia News Service