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Robust economy drives residential property demand in Oman

t points out that the Oman economy is continuing to grow buoyed by high oil prices and as employee numbers in the private sector have grown by 20.7% from 2008 to 2010 there is huge demand for properties.

Tenant expectations are dictating the current rental trends in the housing market and a two tier residential property market is developing as a result of tenant requirements.

Despite the impact of the global recession, indicators suggest that Oman’s economy is expected to recover and grow with government income rising to RO5443 million in the first half of 2011.
Cluttons notes, however, that this 29% rise in income can be mostly attributed to the increase in oil revenues. In addition, strong employment figures for both Omani and expatriate employees in the private sector indicate that the Oman economy is in good health.

Demand in the residential rental market in Muscat has remained steady with the expectation that it will rise as the economy continues its recovery.

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.
Whilst location still very much dictates desirability, Cluttons notes that properties with superior design, thoughtful planning and high grade facilities are in high demand. It is apparent that tenants are willing to compromise on size and even location rather than on quality.

Cluttons concludes that it foresees a two tier market trend developing. ‘This trend will see well designed properties showing relatively stable rental values and high occupancy rates, whilst less  well designed and built properties show declines in both rental values and occupancy,’ says the report.

‘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,’ it adds.