We are now talking more about Coronavirus than we say hello to each other in the morning! This crisis has taken over our minds and has become today’s talk. It also affected our psychology, our work, and our daily life, but did it affect the real estate market and the economy? If you plan to buy or sell a home and ask, is it possible buying a house during a crisis? You are not alone in having questions, that’s what we will find out within minutes of reading this article.

 

Here we will cover:

  • Coronavirus and Real estate market.
  • Real estate in GCC
  • Real estate in Bahrain
  • Buying a house during a crisis in Bahrain
  • Coronavirus and Bahrain’s response

 

Let’s start.

 

Coronavirus and Real estate market

  • Since the spread of this virus, there is a panic that dominates the behavior of the consumer, he has become storing food commodities exaggeratedly. This indicates the negative perception of the expectations for this virus’s impact on the economy, and therefore we will find quick decisions also in terms of investments and the real estate market. There is no doubt that business interruptions and closings of whole industries lead to reducing the salary for many workers and laying off others, decreasing their ability to buy homes. 

 

  • This season -Spring season- is the busiest season for the real estate field, especially for buying a house, and the housing stock for sale is more attractive to many than what is for rent.

 

  • A survey by the ‘Middle East, revealed almost a quarter (24%) of respondents said that their business is already making redundancies, and 20% said they have been forced to take unpaid leave as a result of the business disruption caused by the coronavirus.

 

Is the real estate sector affected by the current crisis?

Many sectors have been directly affected by the crisis of the Coronavirus, but the real estate sector in various countries of the world remains in a state of anticipation, as it is a sector that has enough capacity to withstand longer periods of time than others in such crises. 

 

Economists also believe that even if this sector suffers from some recession or negative impact, it will be temporary and soon recover once the quarantine is lifted, while other sectors may require longer periods of recovery.

 

Real estate in GCC

There is no doubt that the real estate market has been growing in the GCC area. Many years ago, real estate was considered a measure of the economic wealth of the GCC, as the increasing number of expatriates and the rapid rise in per capita income increased the demand for commercial and residential real estate in the region. However, the 2008 financial crisis presented many challenges for the sector with real estate prices and rents falling by up to 40 percent across the region.

 

According to Select Property Group’s GCC Investor Survey

In The GCC

 

  • 75% of investors have invested in local property.
  • 71% of GCC investors look to make a new investment every 6 months or less.

 

Real estate in Bahrain

Bahrain is not just a great place to work in, it is also the best place to live.

It offers a quality of life and a family-friendly environment with reasonable living costs.

The kingdom makes it easy to stay, people can purchase freehold residential land in prime locations, so you can obtain permanent residence.

 

The decline in real estate prices in Bahrain began in 2017 and in 2019 prices stabilized due to increased buying demand after the change in prices, and this price stability continues in 2020.

 

Investment in Bahrain

 

Investment potential in Bahrain’s real estate market continues to expand, and the sector becomes more important to the economy.

 

Buying a house during a crisis in Bahrain

The government in the Kingdom of Bahrain communicates with foreign ministries affairs in various countries to facilitate the return of Bahraini citizens still abroad.

 

The return of a large number of countries’ citizens to their home has an impact on reviving the real estate market, especially after what the world and most countries are experiencing in crisis, which will lead to a demand for buying a house to live in.

So, the real estate sector has not yet faced any problem, as the local financial system has so far shown resilience to the crisis.

 

What should you do if buying a house nowadays?

In general, governments in different countries advise that buyers and tenants delay moving house. But if you have to, you should follow a few guidelines to stay safe:

 

  •  Ask for videos of the home you’re planning to buy. Real estate agencies provide many options like virtual tours to shortlist houses.

 

  • Make sure your job and income are stable.

 

  • If you’re otherwise healthy, schedule a private inspection and make sure to follow the government’s rules on social distancing. You should sterilize hands, put on gloves, and wear a mask. Also, try to refrain from touching anything when touring a home.

 

 

Coronavirus and Bahrain’s response

In common with most countries, Bahrain is affected by COVID-19 but has taken swift and decisive action to try to minimize the impact on people and the business community.

 

Bahrain was the first Arab country to join a solidarity experiment to find an effective treatment for the virus, and the WHO is appreciated for its rapid response.

 

Bahrain also:

 

  • Set up a national task force dedicated to tackling the spread of the virus. 
  • Providing free treatment to citizens and residents.
  • Providing mobile medical units to check up people in their homes.
  • Suspending public and private education and higher education institutions until further notice.
  • Allowing all working mothers to work from home.
  • Pay the salaries of all insured Bahraini private-sector employees for a period of three months, starting in April 2020.
  • Exempting all tourism-related industry from tourism fees for three months from April 2020.

 

In the end, we want to say:

 

We cannot deny that the real estate sector is facing a hard year and a significant challenge, but this challenge will highlight the sector’s ability to withstand, according to each country, according to the status of the sector, and how long it will take for the pandemic to recede.

 

But what experts say is that after the crisis there will be an increasing demand for real estate. So if social distancing has made you realize you don’t love the place where you’re currently spending most of your time, it’s a good time to think about buying.

 

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