CHALLENGES FACING BAHRAIN’S REAL ESTATE MARKET

By: Ammar Albossta
Chief Executive Officer
House ME

Since the beginning of 2020, a number of challenges and changes have swept the world, and till this day, the effects of the pandemic are still felt in many sectors and businesses, including global real estate markets, as well as those in the GCC, and locally in Bahrain. While initially, things may have seemed unclear, the numerous decisions and strategies adopted by the different units in Bahrain have thankfully, played a significant role in reducing damages and adapting to the developments of the crisis in this difficult and unprecedented time.

The real estate market in Bahrain has faced many challenges, which has led us to analyse the situation more accurately and review our next steps with great care and thought. The industry today requires credibility and transparency between all parties involved, in order to continue developing the market, starting from owners and developers to brokers who also play a very important role in the market. What this sensitive period needs is transparency and clarity in the leasing sector, for both the commercial and residential sectors, in order to overcome this crisis. There is an important role played by every individual involved in real estate in Bahrain, and at this time, it is necessary to join efforts. Cooperation between all parties involved in the real estate sector must continue, in order to understand individual circumstances and conditions related to leasing and renting.

There are three main phases that the real estate market has gone through, that require a deeper analysis and understanding. The first stage was the start of the pandemic, where initial reactions varied, and were completely different from individual to individual. When the vision and consequences of the pandemic became clearer, and it was obvious that it will have long terms effects starting from its first stages, to the second wave we are experiencing now, we were still required to readjust and re-strategize, in order to adapt to the everchanging conditions and restrictions associated with Covid-19, especially in certain circumstances which could never have been predicted.

The third and final stage, once we had a better understanding of the virus and its impact on business, included a number of actions and notions that must be taken into consideration, even after the pandemic has completely subsided. If there is anything that we have learnt from the first two phases is how to deal with the unexpected, and being able to do so swiftly and in a timely manner.

Many of these ideas and strategies were not as common earlier, and were, in all honesty, neglected. But we were quick to realize how important these strategies are, most notably the entry of digital technology into real estate, as it was able to facilitate daily operations in an efficient way, as well as create a safe and secure method of communication with customers, investors and other companies.

There are a number of positive lessons that we have learned during these three stages that have led us to a new era and new way of managing real estate business in a faster and more efficient way. Not to mention the newly adopted health habits that have been applied to large-scale projects, which usually include a large number of people who work together closely. This in turn, created a healthier and safer environment overall, as well as the adherence to physical distancing. These rules are expected to continue in the future, and should be a main focal point in upcoming project strategies.

In spite of the challenges that were mentioned, the Bahrain real estate market is still very promising, and the market is full with opportunities for investment in various sectors, both the commercial and the residential markets. This is largely due to the efforts put forth by the government to combat the obstacles and challenges that have risen from the pandemic, and it has largely proven its ability to handle a crisis. When we speak about the pandemic, we also must mention the effort and dedication of everyone who has worked tirelessly to fight against the Covid-19 virus, especially our medical teams and frontline workers.

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