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Sun 20 Jun 2010 07:04 AM

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Bahrain will need 30% rise in workers to fill offices

Knight Frank raises issue of large oversupply of commercial property.

Bahrain will need 30% rise in workers to fill offices
OFFICE OVERSUPPLY: Knight Frank has highlighted a massive oversupply in offices in Bahrain, including capital city Manama. (Getty Images)

A 30 percent increase in office workers will be needed to fill Bahrain's oversupplied commercial property market if all projects underway are completed.

An additional 9,500 office staff will be required to fill new space in the construction pipeline, with the market experiencing "a significant over supply of stock", Knight Frank said in a report on the Gulf state's property market.

It added that the average vacancy rates in Bahrain's existing prime office space was already high, estimated at up to 25 percent.

"This is principally due to the fact that over 100 sq m of office space was introduced to the market in 2007...absorption of units has been a challenge ever since," said Jim Lynn, head of research and consultancy at Knight Frank.

The report said the office rental market was currently down by 20 percent on average compared to 2009 figures, with current asking rates for prime stock topping out at BD12 per sq m ($32).

"Evidence shows that tenants looking to occupy large amounts of space (over 2,000 sq m) are able to negotiate landlords down to as low as BD7 per sq m in brand new buildings in Seef District," Lynn added.

On the sales market, the Knight Frank research said that current average prices were about BD1,100 per sq m which is down by about 10 percent on 2009 prices.

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