Real estate emerges from lacklustre 2017
The last two years have been challenging for Oman’s economy, which is still working its way through an exacting period. The burden of that downward spiral of the economy was considerably felt by the real estate market, resulting in a reduction in overall demand.
However, the year 2018 has begun on a positive note and property consultants in the country also forecast a stabilised if not robust market through the year.
The National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) data for the first quarter of 2018 showed a robust growth compared to last year. Rise in oil prices and the recovery in economic activity have impacted the real estate market as well.
As an indication of the market trend, the total value of property transactions in the January-March period this year increased by 6.8 per cent to RO776.3mn, from RO726.8mn in the same period of last
year, according to NCSI.
Buoyed by Oxford Economics’ estimate that GDP growth is expected to surge by 5.2 per cent in 2018; the strongest rate of expansion since 2015, acceleration of further economic growth is forecast to be fuelled to a significant degree by the introduction of natural gas production from the Khazzan gas field as well opening of the new Muscat International Airport, according to Cluttons Muscat Winter 2017-18 Property Market Outlook.
Ian Gladwin, head of Cluttons Oman, said, “Although the real estate market has been impacted by a reduction in overall demand, there remain pockets of activity and clear opportunities in both the residential and commercial sectors.”
M Sudhakar Reddy, CEO, Al Habib & Co, which is the largest real estate products and services company in Oman, said that 2018 will see things change. “We are expecting 2018 to be a much better year than 2017 as consumer confidence is returning to the market. Now people have begun spending again and are ready to invest also. Things are improving. “The government has been prudently managing its finances by borrowing when oil prices are low and building reserves when oil prices are high. The government has managed the sharp drop in oil prices very well and since oil prices have improved we can expect a better year ahead.”