By: Ali Ahmed Al Riyami
MUSCAT: The Real Estate Price Index for Muscat will be published soon as “most of the work on this has been completed. We have cooperated with the National Centre for Statistics and Information and the Ministry of Housing and we are coming to the final stage for this.”
“It is very important for us to produce an index that is comprehensive and recognised as a proper index and this is why it is taking a longer time to complete. We have also liaised with 10 different real estate firms in Oman and all of the results will be audited by KPMG in a professional way so that we can produce the first official real estate price index very soon,” said Mohammed bin Salim al Busaidi, Chairman of the Oman Real Estate Association (ORA), in an exclusive interview with the Observer, on the sidelines of yesterday’s announcement of ORA’s first hosting of the Oman Real Estate Excellence Award. Al Busaidi spoke about some of the latest developments in the Sultanate’s real estate sector.
“It will have a special application via the NCSI, who have awarded development of this project to a recognised company in Oman whom we are in continuous contact with. Hopefully, for the upcoming conference that is to be held in the first week of May, it (the real estate price index for Muscat) can be announced.”
With regard to how important it is for the country to have this price index, he pointed out, “The index will be focusing on Muscat, on land prices and rental, so I think the index will allow for efficiency and reliability in Oman’s real estate market. This is not only useful for local investors, but for international ones as well; where they can have a real understanding about prices in different areas of Oman, so that they can make their feasibility studies and assessments in a professional way.
“It will allow small and big investors the opportunity of checking up on actual prices and making quick decisions.” “At the moment everyone puts up their own prices; different companies each have their own prices and there is no index to refer to and compare with.”
Commenting on the continued growth of housing in Muscat, particularly condominiums, and whether this would cause a glut in the market, he noted, “In the case of flats, for example, the demand is still there. Every year we have some 30,000 to 50,000 graduates from universities and colleges, who end up starting their own families and most of them will reside in Muscat.
“In addition to this, we have many major ongoing projects that require expatriate manpower and they will also require apartments for accommodation. It is important to have the actual statistics for demand and supply in relation to this, which will help determine future requirements and the type and quantity of housing units required. This, again will help investors to make the right decisions on when and where to invest.”
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER