Bahrain rents down 25% as unrest batters real estate

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
Social unrest has also squeezed Bahrain’s fledgling luxury property sales

Social unrest has also squeezed Bahrain’s fledgling luxury property sales

Rental rates in Bahrain slumped by a quarter in the first half of 2011 as the political unrest deterred foreign investors and companies, said property broker Knight Frank in a report.

The average rental rate was BD1,200 ($3,183), a decline of 25 percent on the same period a year-earlier, the report said. The decline was reflected among sale values, with average pricing for apartments in the Gulf kingdom at BD790 ($2,095) per sq m during the six-month period.

Villa rates fell to BD625 ($1.658) per sq m, the report said.

Social unrest has also squeezed Bahrain’s fledgling luxury property sales, with bigger spenders moving choosing to invest in safe-haven markets.

“The luxury housing market was relatively small in terms of demand even before the political unrest, but it has understandably had an effect, as those investors who were showing modest interest have now looked to more secure markets in which to place their money,” said Jim Lynn, head of research in Knight Frank's Bahrain office.

Protesters took to the kingdom’s streets in February to demand more representation and access to better jobs and benefits. At least 30 people were killed, hundreds wounded and more than 1,000 detained in a government crackdown backed by troops brought in from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Martial law was declared at the height of the unrest, but was lifted in July.

In April, a report by property consultancy CB Richard Ellis found expatriate families in Bahrain were relocating from central areas to quieter neighbourhoods, in a bid to escape future unrest.

Regions that were among those most affect by the uprisings include Saar and Budaiya in the north west, which were previously popular destinations for upper-income migrant families.

 “Many expatriates, especially those with families, have found the recent problems, which were very audible in this area, to be deeply troubling, and as a result there is likely to be some movement to quieter locations not so visibly or audibly affected by political differences,” the report said.

Office rents in the kingdom have also seen a sharp decline in value, Knight Frank said. Prime rates were down by 11 percent in the first half of 2011, reaching a monthly rate of BD9 ($23.86) per sq m, similar to rents seen in the pre-boom years of 2005 to 2006.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Coming to America

Coming to America

As Barack Obama seeks to rebalance the bloated US economy, the...

Trump casino resort business files for bankruptcy

Trump casino resort business files for bankruptcy

The Donald founded the companies but is now suing them to have...

Do celebrity branded projects ever work?

Do celebrity branded projects ever work?

The long list of celebrity-endorsed real estate developments...

Most Discussed