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Despite a mixed outcome, Bahrain real estate transactions continue to increase

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In Q2 2023, there were a total of 5,279 real estate transactions in Bahrain, according to SLRB data. This is a 7.1% year-over-year growth but a 16.7% reduction from the previous quarter, which is most likely because Ramadan and both Eid holidays fell in Q2.

In Bahrain’s residential market, the average quoted apartment rent rose by 2.1% on a governorate-wide average in Q2 over Q1 while the quoted flat sales rates dropped by 1.1%. The Capital Governorate still has the highest rates, but the Muharraq Governorate is starting to catch up as freshly delivered high-quality assets are attaining better rates in places like Diyar Al Muharraq and Dilmunia. Rates for villas only slightly changed in Q2, with stated rents declining by.

In the first half of 2023, recorded leases in the office sector increased in CBRE’s managed properties. The demand for small- to medium-sized units from international businesses and larger floor plates from governmental and quasi-governmental organizations remain the two key demand drivers for Grade A and B commercial office space. While vacancy rates have been largely consistent, they have started to decline for the first time in recent years, hitting their lowest level since 2019, which is currently expected to be 26.3%.

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According to STR data for the hospitality industry, Manama’s average occupancy rate increased from 46.1% in 2022 to 51.3% in 2023, an increase of 11.2% year over year. While RevPAR climbed by 13.1% during the same time period, Manama’s ADR only slightly increased by 1.8%. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia signed a Memorandum of Understanding in June to jointly market the two nations as a regional and international tourist destination.

The agreement creates a framework for cooperation in attempts to promote travel initiatives and activities in both nations. In H1 2023, the majority of the malls included in CBRE Bahrain’s biannual retail occupancy study had gains in foot traffic. 70% of the 20 malls studied experienced an increase in occupancy, with Dana Mall in the Capital recording the largest increase thanks to recent store launches and the introduction of Epix Cinemas. Average set occupancy improved by 3.6 percentage points from H2 2022 to presently stand at 70%.

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The Avenues, City Center, and Dragon City have the greatest occupancy rates. Even while the current occupancy rate is at its greatest level since the COVID-19 epidemic began, it is still about 10 percentage points lower than it was in 2019.

“CBRE has recorded an uptick in registered leases within our managed office properties and a minor reduction in vacancy rates to 26.3%,” says Heather Longden, Director of Advisory & Transactions at CBRE in Bahrain. According to the BTEA, Bahrain International Airport received 4,098,582 passengers during the first six months of 2023, rising 43.2% from the same time in 2022. All important performance metrics in the hospitality sector have showed signs of development year over year. While retail occupancy rates have slightly increased to reach 70%, average rental rates have decreased in the first half of 2023 due to an increase in the supply of shopping center space.

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