Bahrain’s residential property sector received a slight boost from a flurry of new oil and gas workers to the country, but is set to remain a tenants' market for the next 12 months, a report by Cluttons has said.
A wave of new expatriates into the Gulf state has increased demand for real estate and pushed up waiting lists for international schools, but rents remain flat largely due to a lack of supply coming to the market, according to the property broker.
“There has been an upturn in the number of new expats coming to Bahrain, specifically in the oil and gas industry,” experts said in a research report.
“Having said this, demand is not as strong as it was pre-2011, and rents are only being kept flat due to the lack of new properties coming to the market, with many larger projects being delayed or put on hold.”
Among the most popular areas are Amwaj, Jasra, Hamla and Janabiya, Cluttons said, with rents remaining fairly level in these locations.
However, in places such as Saar, Budaiya and Sanabis, lease prices have continued to fall over the last six months, allowing tenants to renegotiate their rates down with landlords or move to a new property with a better deal.
The performance of the market will thus remain very area-specific during the next half year, with well-maintained areas with good facilities and security being the most desirable, the company said.
The sales market is also set to remain quiet, with the majority of sales taking place in Riffa Views or Amwaj Islands.
According to the report, commercial property is still experiencing downward pressure on rates, with supply expected to exceed demand for the next year.
Landlords are coming under more pressure to fit out office units, with core and shell space becoming increasingly difficult to lease.