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Developers urged to build more family friendly residential communities in Oman

Residential property types need to shift with tenant demand and what families want right now in the state is well built complexes because of their secure environment that is ideal for children, according to Cluttons Oman, the leading property firm that has enjoyed a presence in the Sultanate since 1986.

It has found that there has been a continued growth in available residential housing in Oman but the design and quality of housing has not necessarily progressed to meet tenant requirements. The company highlighted that as the market changes, property types will need to shift with tenant demands and developers will need to build more modern housing with community facilities aimed at the consumer's wants and needs.

‘We foresee a two tier market developing between well designed properties suited to tenant requirements and properties which are poorly designed or built. The demand for community villa and apartment compounds continues to outstrip supply,’ said Marianne Helme, head of residential leasing at Cluttons Oman.

‘The emerging developments in Oman lack local amenities and community facilities, which is now a deciding factor for prospective tenants and owner occupiers before they invest. The lack of these facilities contributes to the desirability and demand of such stock, which in turn causes values to drop further and puts additional pressure on the demand in more popular areas,’ she explained.

Among the factors that contribute to increasing the demand for high quality community compounds is security. Community compounds provide security usually in the form of a walled plot with a controlled gate and 24 hours security guards, usually in a guardhouse but sometimes with patrolling guards. The presence of friendly neighbours adds to the comfort level and means that strangers can be identified and turned away by the 24 hour security. Company executives with a commitment to periods of travelling often chose this option so their family feels secure when they are away.

‘Community living in a compound can also be the ideal environment for children, with other families close by for the children to make friends and for parents to exchange experiences and to network with each other. Frequently these compounds offer facilities that enable the children to play in a secure environment and for adults to relax,’ Helme added.

The attraction of living in secure developments with facilities means that there is strong demand for grade A developments such as Meydan Al Azaiba and Hatat Complex in Watayah for apartment compounds with prices from RO600 to RO650 per month featuring a range of facilities. Strong demand for community living in secure compounds is illustrated by the fact that the residential apartments at Hatat Complex are at 100% occupancy. There are also villa compounds in Shatti Al Qurm and Qurm with prices from RO1300 to RO1950 per month also featuring a wide range of facilities.

Cluttons have a range of options in Muscat and Sohar, from villa to apartment compounds. Sensitive leasing also forms part of the attraction; Cluttons ensures the mix within the compounds is compatible, respecting the needs of individual occupiers so that there are no conflicts.

The usual facilities that a compound will offer include dedicated car parking, swimming pool, children play areas, walled and gated compound, tennis and squash courts, landscaping, gymnasium and café.