This article was originally published in Propertyfinder Trends 2017, Vol 3.
Propertyfinder Group is in its fifth year of operations in international markets. We checked in with our Country Managers to get their read on market conditions and performance over the last year.
Sources from the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) indicate a growth of 4.5 per cent in the first quarter of the year, with the real estate market contributing over $1.7 billion to the economy. As a testament to the growth in the Bahraini real estate market, it is estimated that over 7,000 units will be added to the country’s residential supply by 2020. The number of user sessions on propertyfinder.bh has increased by 55 per cent since we launched here in 2014, meaning more and more users are looking for their next home on propertyfinder.bh.
Monsi Rabah, Country Manager, propertyfinder.bh
The Egyptian real estate market has been on a growth trajectory since the beginning of 2017, and is on the top of the list of the fast-growing real estate markets in Africa, along with Nigeria and Algeria. This is mainly due to the continuous increase in population who are seeking residential units and infrastructure. Despite the economic issues the country has been going through since the floatation of the Egyptian pound in September 2016, the Egyptian real estate market has flourished in 2017. The demand for properties for sale and rent has massively increased, as 2017 has recorded 101 per cent growth in the number of home buyers and rentals compared to 2016. The demand is mainly centralised in the capital, Cairo, along with the affluent coastal areas such as North Coast, Hurghada, and Al Ain El Sokhna.
Mohamed Hammad, Co-Managing Director,propertyfinder.eg
During 2017, growth in the real estate market was significant on many levels. We saw a 68.5 per cent increase for the number of Propertyfinder Lebanon clients if we measure variance between 2016 and 2017. More brokers and developers are onboard for online real estate advertising. More end-users are looking for properties online. As for the price trend, it is highly related to the region. Since the supply mirrors the demand, the trend in each area is that contractors and developers have started offering specifications that guarantee demand and closed deals.
Wissam Moubarak, Country Manager, propertyfinder.com.lb
Internet penetration, particularly for handheld device users, is on a big upswing. Over 80 per cent of Sarouty’s traffic came from mobile and tablet users in the last three months, as opposed to 67 percent in the same period last year. People are indeed moving online at a considerably fast pace. From a real estate perspective, the demand for real estate has drastically decreased this year, according to Lesecos.ma. This decrease is largely due to the parallel increase in alternative fees that come after acquiring a real estate property, including notary, registration, and mortgage fees.
Ismael Belkhayat, Country Manager, sarouty.ma
The speed at which the implementation of the National Transformation Program (NTP) took place resulted in a level of paralysis in the market where the government drove significant budget cuts. This started with the crash of oil prices early in 2015. This uncertainty impacts the real estate sector. The total value of real estate transactions decreased by approximately 30 per cent in the first nine months of 2017, compared to the same period last year. Additionally, the introduction of VAT, dependent fees, and other factors that drive in action are making life in Saudi more expensive. While sentiment is currently low, the general feeling is optimistic towards the future following some actions to move budgets back into the NTP initiatives.
Tarek Zeitoun, Country Manager, eSimsar.com
Demand for housing is rising again in Qatar. The Ministry of Development and Planning announced that the number of sold residential properties increased by 5.8 per cent in comparison to April of last year. The value of residential property also increased by over 36 per cent year over year, valued at QAR2.85 billion. In Doha specifically, the number of residential properties increased by 8.7 per cent; an increase was also seen in Al Khor, with property sales increasing by 12.5 per cent. As the number one property portal in Qatar, we have achieved great progress when it comes to client retention and growth, with an increase of 30 per cent. Site visits are also on an upswing, increasing 20 per cent over the past six months.
Monsi Rabah, Country Manager, propertyfinder.qa