Do you think tenants are now in the driving seat as rents continue to fall? Have you benefitted from it?
Khalfan al Gharibi
There has been a fall in house rents with a number of new buildings coming up across the city. Tenants now have more choice at affordable prices.
I do not think there is significant drop in rents. Rents are still on the higher side even though many flats are vacant. However, people are shifting into flats in new buildings at cheaper rents.
P L N Rao
Yes, over supply, decrease in the number of expatriates in Oman has affected the market adversely. The same flat which cost me RO400 earlier, now costs RO290.
Head of marketing
Yes, times are good for tenants. Real estate has always been a favoured investment in Oman and it has been booming since 1970. So, it's understandable that now there is an oversupply. I think developers will limit the supply to strengthen demand.
Ahmed Harith al Hinai
Head of compliance
Absolutely, it's a renter's or a buyer's market at the moment. It gives an incentive to landlords with older properties to upgrade them in order to meet modern standards. So, the silver lining is building standards will improve. I haven't benefitted from the fall in rents though.
Jasim al Balushi
I haven't benefitted from the situation, but I hear landlords across the city are keen on retaining tenants and so reducing prices at the time of contract renewal. Some tenants also prefer staying in the same place as moving can be quite a headache.
Have you renegotiated with your landlord to bring the rent down or are you planning to move to a new location where rents have declined?
I shifted to a new house around two months ago, as I wanted to stay in a better location for a reasonable rent. This is a good opportunity for those looking to shift. I have shifted to a place next to my boutique as it is convenient for me.
Private sector employee
Yes, I have negotiated with my landlord and got the rent reduced. This is fair for both the parties and not exploitation as many would think. Both tenant and landlords need one another at this hour and both parties must understand the situation.
I have not negotiated with my landlord yet, but I am planning to shift to a better place for a reasonable price. It is a tough time for all of us but we have to be hopeful.
You will find many apartments vacant today. Unlike earlier days, landlords have opened up to the idea of reducing rents. Our agreement was up for renewal last month and our landlord finally agreed to reduce the rent after much convincing.
Thousands of expatriates have either left Oman or sent their families back home in the last few months leaving many flats vacant. New apartments too are coming up. But this wasn't the case a few years ago. There are many options available in Amerat, Ghala, Al Khuwayr, Ma'abela and Azaiba. We are shifting from a 1BHK in CBD to a 2BHK in Azaiba next month at a slightly higher rent as it is better. We wouldn't have got such an apartment for this rent a year ago.
Yes, this is the time for tenants in Oman. There are many options available now. Nowadays, 2BHK flats are available in many parts of the city at very reasonable prices. This was unthinkable a few years ago.
With the market continuing to struggle and many ‘For Rent’ signs across the city, do you think market is likely to improve in the near future?
Rashid al Balushi
External affairs manager
The real estate is currently facing a lot of challenges as the demand is too low. The prices of many flats have gone down by more than 30 per cent across Oman. This is because many expatriates have left the country for good. This has directly affected the market. The trend may continue for some more time.
Nasser al Hosni
The economic crisis has affected many sectors and this has directly impacted the real estate market too. I think the situation will improve if the government attracts more investors and facilitates investment procedures for them.
Sultan al Rawahi
Private sector employee
The real estate market is not likely to improve in the near future. We can see many vacant apartments across the city as a lot of expatriates and their families have left the sultanate. The situation will only improve with investments in the sector.
Sulaiman al Riyami
The ongoing recession is not limited to Oman alone but is a regional phenomenon. More so, all oil producing nations in the region are struggling, which is having a knockdown effect on all sectors, specially real estate. With oil prices stable for the last few months, I feel that real estate market can only improve from here. By this year end it should be a lot better than now.
Uzair al Balushi
The real estate market has been struggling for the last couple of years, like most other sectors. But with improving economic scenario due to rise in oil prices, I feel the worst is behind us. Things should improve soon.
Private sector employee
The rents have been falling for the last couple of years. But they may stabilise soon. Rents had risen historically between 2009 and 2011 period and so a correction was likely to follow as new properties cropped up at every few hundred metres.