2013-12-05 19:58:24 - New Business market report from Business Monitor International: "Bahrain Real Estate Report Q1 2014"
We believe that the real estate sector in Bahrain will remain stagnant in its continuing recovery of the 2010 financial crisis. We predict some slight increases in rents, and that net yields will remain the same across all sectors as a result of the instability that continues to plague the country and scare off investors and tourists.
We believe that the government-fed construction boom will continue to affect the commercial real estate market which is persistently suffering under the fallout from the global financial crisis and political unrest. Bahrain has been one of the slowest Gulf Cooperation Council economies to recover from the crisis, and the protests stemming from the Arab Spring contribute to the fact that economic growth is likely
to be slow. In the real estate sector this has translated into stagnant rents and an endemic oversupply of rental space.
Full Report Details at
- www.fastmr.com/prod/723428_bahrain_real_estate_report_q1_2014.as ..
In spite of these challenges, elevated oil prices and higher oil production are likely to help build an economic recovery over the coming years, though it will be slow in coming. There is some irony in the fact that the unrest that is causing so much damage to the wider economy in the region is also responsible for the rise in oil prices that may fuel economic growth. Since oil makes up 80% of Bahrain's export income, GDP growth is extremely sensitive to movements in the price of oil. As a result, it is difficult to be optimistic about the short-term prospects for Bahrain's commercial real estate market. The longer-term outcome will depend on Bahrain achieving a level of economic growth outside the export-oriented oil sector.
In terms of specific sectors, BMI finds some consistency across office, retail, and industrial sectors in that they all show similar stagnation in both rents and net yields. While corporations in Bahrain continue to expand and seek newer and larger units, an uncertain political environment is slowing these transactions to a crawl. There is also a lack of new corporations who wish to enter Bahrain, therefore vacancy rates and low rents may persist until companies regain their confidence that Bahrain is a stable home for their business.
Retail is similarly affected by these factors, especially since it is so closely tied to tourism. The Bahraini government will continue to encourage further tourism, but these efforts may be in vain if there is not a political solution in the near term between rival factions within the country. Tourism from Saudi Arabia will continue, however, providing a small stream of business for luxury retailers. But as long as Dubai remains an enticing and secure location, it will be the preferred choice for international travellers.
The industrial sector also suffers due to instability, as Bahrain must make its port a safe and secure choice to take business away from the UAE and Qatar. There is some demand for large warehouse space, but this will inherently be a problem for the island nation as there is only so much space near the port. The continued development of the Bahrain Investment Wharf will be a boon to this sector, but Bahrain must spur more demand and make itself a more attractive location.
Bahrain's economy will remain on a recovery path heading into 2014, driven by a normalisation of oil output, continued improvements in non-oil business activity, and steadfast fiscal support from the government. We forecast real GDP growth of 4.3% this year and 3.4% in 2014, up slightly from our previous projections of 3.7% and 3.2%. However, the continued uncertainty of Bahrain's political trajectory remains a key downside risk.
Bahrain's long-running political crisis has entered a more acute phase over the last few months, marked by increasingly frequent incidents of violence and an intensification of repressive measures on the regime's part. This continues to pose a key downside risk to the country's economic outlook, while limiting the chances of a near-term political breakthrough.
* First Bahrain completed their Majaal development at the Bahrain Investment Wharf catering to small and medium sized businesses looking for industrial space
* Housing and infrastructure projects have started to pick up with strong government-backed spending, with Manama spending US$8bn in housing projects by the end of 2017. This is contributing to the notion that the economy in Bahrain is improving, and work on several stalled projects has resumed.
* construction continues on the substantial Bahrain Bay development, which includes the headquarters of Arcapita Bank, a Four Seasons Hotel, a JW Marriott Hotel, and luxury retail space.
* Barwa Real Estate Company won a court ruling from Bahrain-based REIT Inovest and its subsidiary Tameer for a breach of contractual work done in Saudi Arabia.
Key BMI Forecasts:
* Office rents in Manama and Muharraq to increase by 5%.
* Retail rents in Muharraq to increase by 5%.
* Industrial rents in Muharraq to increase by 5%.
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