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Mon 5 Jul 2010 03:23 PM

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Bahrain partnerships urged to build more affordable homes

Cluttons report says public private deals needed to meet demand for homes.

Bahrain partnerships urged to build more affordable homes
HOUSING MARKET: Bahrains capital city Manama. (Getty Images)

A property consultancy on Monday stressed the need for greater public private partnerships in Bahrain to develop affordable housing.

Despite recent attempts by the private sector to take advantage of existing demand for affordable housing, a Cluttons report said developers were finding it difficult to produce stock that is “well designed, market facing and most importantly correctly priced”.

“Given the increasing propensity for Bahrainis to live in smaller family units, this sector shows potential for high levels of growth if the private sector can be attracted to producing suitable, good quality, low cost housing units,” said the report.

Around 12,000 social houses were built in the country between 2003 and 2009 but it is not enough to fulfil demand, said Cluttons.

The report added that the country’s retail sector would continue to suffer from a “supply-demand imbalance”, which is leading to a two tier market.

The retail sector’s increasing reliance on shoppers from Saudi Arabia coupled with a reduction in population and a huge pipeline of retail space, are all putting downward pressure on the country’s retail sector.

“With approximately 450,000 sq m of additional retail space planned to come on line by 2015, the Bahrain retail market looks set to suffer from a continued supply-demand imbalance,” said Cluttons.

Completed retail mall space in Bahrain has increased from around 100,000 sq m to 530,000 sq m since 2000.

Office space in the kingdom is also expected to continue to suffer from an oversupply, which in turn is putting increasing pressure on office rents. “There remains plenty of new, fitted out space on the market and tenants remain in short supply,” said the report.

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