Bahrain real estate transactions up 46% in 2012 – report

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The number of real estate transactions in Bahrain increased by 46 percent in 2012, according to official figures released this week.

Data from the Survey and Land Registration Bureau also said the total value of transactions was BD663.9 million (US$1.74bn), but it did not reveal how the figure compared to values in 2011 or how many transactions were recorded.

A report by the Gulf Daily News found the value of transactions among Bahrainis increased by 57 percent, GCC nationals by 68 percent and foreigners by 54 percent.

This is despite a report earlier this month which claimed real estate values in two of Bahrain’s biggest business hubs, Seef and Juffair, had fallen by 50 percent since unrest in the kingdom began nearly two years ago.

According to a report written by Manama Municipal Council vice chairman Mohammed Mansoor, it is likely to take two years for the market to recover fully due to a lack of demand.

The research stated that the value of land and property set aside for investment in the two areas has slumped to BHD100 (US$265) per sqft since the start of unrest in February 2011, while only a few investors had pushed ahead with development projects.

"Many are not willing to start investment plans on their plots because they are worried that they may not get their money's worth in future as Bahrain's market is already oversaturated and can't withstand an unnecessary influx," Mansoor said in the report.

"Millions are at stake and investors can't wait for seven to ten years to get their funds back or register profitability.

"The market has shown recovery that has brought the investment rate to 50 percent from the potential expected, but the remaining 50 percent is still an issue that needs addressing."

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