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Oman’s real estate sector continues to slide

Properties overlooking the bay in Muscat. Property prices in the capital fell more than 5 percent Unsplash/Gilles Gravier
Residences overlooking the bay in Muscat. Property prices in the capital fell more than 5 percent
  • Apartment prices down by 17%
  • Villa prices show meagre rise
  • Musandam region has largest fall

Apartment prices in Oman dropped more than 17 percent in the first quarter of 2024, while villa prices rose a meagre 0.8 percent, according to the latest government figures.

Residential real estate prices were down across the board quarter on quarter, including those for land.

The Musandam region recorded the largest overall decline at 15.7 percent, while prices in and around Muscat fell by 5.5 percent and those in the Dhofar Governorate, where the city of Salalah is located, by 5.1 percent.

The real estate sector in the Gulf nation has been contracting for several months. 

Yet analysts have tended to downplay the trend as a “blip”, while foreign industry professionals continue to flock to Oman despite tighter regulation amid what they see as immense promise for luxury development in future.

More importantly, the latest government release reflects trends in leasehold areas and may not offer a complete picture of the state of real estate in the nation, according to Anastasiya Kouzan, head of sales for Oman at Metropolitan Premium Properties.

Leasehold is a type of contract that enables foreigners to control a property for a maximum of 99 years.

In freehold areas, where for the past few years foreigners have been allowed to fully own the rights to real estate, things are looking up, according to Kouzan.

“While there could be a slide in leasehold areas, freehold areas like Yiti, Muscat Bay and Jebel Sifah have seen a 12 percent price increase between June 2023 and June 2024,” Kouzan told AGBI. “In these areas, properties are still under construction and the 3 percent registration fee is still not applicable, which has contributed to the data not being recorded.”

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