Bahrain's real estate sector is set for a major turnaround as the government continues with infrastructure and utility upgrades and the private sector reconsiders many of the projects that have been put on hold.
There is a general sense that after a quiet second quarter the real estate sector in the kingdom is close to turning the corner of this economic cycle, according to a report by real estate specialists CBRE Bahrain.
"Naturally, this presents some opportunities, and the focus now is more directed towards planning for the next growth phase rather than managing the stalled environment in which most projects have found themselves recently," said the report.
"Values have been written down to more realistic levels than they were during the recent 'boom' years, and it is hoped that the air of realism will bring a more rational approach to the decision-making of developers and investors alike as we enter the next phase.
"Although the numbers are relatively modest at present, developers are starting to successfully sell residential units in carefully targeted market sectors in order to get the market moving."
According to the report, at present, this is largely limited to middle income villa housing for Bahrainis, but is gaining some momentum nevertheless.
"We anticipate that activity in the third quarter will continue to be relatively sedate as Bahrain enters the summer months and Ramadan, but this time may well be spent reviewing market conditions across all sectors, identifying development opportunities and initiating project adjustments accordingly.
"The government has finally made public comments regarding the use to which the promised $10 billion aid package will be put. Consequently, a comprehensive programme which will prioritise housing, education, health, infrastructure and social development projects will head the 2013-2014 budget.
"Bahrain has also quietly been improving its position with respect to foreign direct investment during 2012, and is now home to three of the world's top 20 global free zones," said the report.
Bahrain International Investment Park, Khalifa Bin Salman Port and Bahrain International Airport were all placed in the 2012/13 Global Free Zones Rankings report prepared by Foreign Direct Investment magazine. Inclusion at this level reflects the benefits of Bahrain's strategic geographic position in the Gulf and its growing role as a regional logistics and transportation hub for the region.
Gulf Daily News