2022 OUTLOOK


Ammar Albossta
CEO
House Me

The real estate market witnessed a great deal of turmoil during 2021, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year is highly considered to be a year of change for the industry, with the aspirations and decisions expected to take place in 2022 bringing either a positive or negative effect on the market.

The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) at the E-Government Department, intends to launch the Real Estate Information Bank project, which will constitute a prominent base of reliability for the information available to the public about real estate conditions and transactions, which will lead to increased investment in real estate projects.

The importance of this project lies in providing information, data and statistics related to the real estate performance in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the future trends of the real estate market, supporting decision-makers in this sector in obtaining the latest developments related to buying, selling and investment.

This national project is considered the first of its kind in the Kingdom. It is expected that this project will be launched in the third quarter of 2022. It will also provide accurate facts and figures, creating a qualitative leap in the real estate sector, keeping pace with the development of digital innovation in the Kingdom, which, in the long run, will contribute to achieving Bahrain’s Vision 2030.

 Another notion that has been noticed lately in the market, is the phenomenon of rising prices of residential lands in areas under 350sqm, especially those located in the Western Region, which is due to increased demand and the suspension of sorting. It is expected that this will negatively affect investor purchasing, as this rise in pricing is not compatible with the rise in income per capita. So, it is suggested that the setbacks be reduced from two metres to one metre, so that citizens can make optimal use of their land, in proportion to the size and requirements of the family, as permitted by the budget.

This will also lead to investors and owners of relatively large lands to split their lands and place them on the market as multiple land plots. This could be a way to reduce the pressure of housing requests, as well as revitalise the Bahraini real estate market across all segments, which will result in a decreased number of people on the Ministry of Housing’s waiting lists.

It has also been reported that rental values have also witnessed a significant decline due to the increase in utility bills, as well as the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is highly expected that the declines in housing rental units and the prevailing purchase prices will contribute to the trend of citizens, residents and investors from abroad to buy and own real estate in all its forms, which will contribute to advancing and pushing the real estate activity forward. Currently, one of the priorities of the real estate market is to develop a plan to increase demand for real estate, by increasing the supply of units in Bahrain. 

The COVID-19 pandemic was also a clear reason for disrupting the economic scene in Bahrain, as it caused a lack of demand in the rental market, and the commercial sector was affected, especially for SMEs which suffered from the change in plans and future projects and the development of alternative plans to coexist with labour market conditions and the rapid changes that obliged many to make fateful decisions which changed many strategies. This brought on a new wave and vision that was completely different from previous years, but it is expected in the world that this pandemic will recede during the third quarter of 2022, which gives a positive outlook of the real estate market for investors, owners and tenants. Although all these challenges are very important lessons in changing the requirements of the commercial sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain, it also opens us to all possibilities to develop this sector from a crisis and transform it into a new brighter stage that opens up a horizon full of opportunities.

This article was published as part of the seventh edition of Property Finder Bahrain’s Trends Report.