Bahrain property prices to drop by 25% in 2009


R Lakshmanan, chief executive of Sakana Holistic Housing Solutions, a joint venture between The Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait (BBK) and Shamil Bank said it is difficult to predict what will happen in 2009 because transaction have slowed almost to zero.

“Depending on the area, we are already talking about adjustments of 10 to 15 percent. Prices could drop as much as 25 percent if current market conditions persist,” he said. “It’s very difficult to put a percentage on the decline because hardly any transactions are happening.”

Some Bahraini companies have started to lay off staff as a result of the global financial crisis. “But it’s still not at the level that we’re hearing about from Dubai,” Lakshmanan said.

In October, Sakana cut its loan to value ratio to 80 percent from 90 percent. Lakshmanan said property prices may start to rebound as soon as liquidity returns to the market and oil prices start to pick up.
The company was recently awarded Best Islamic Mortgage Provider of the Middle East at the International Real Estate Finance Summit 2008 in London.

Unlike Dubai, the vast majority of Bahrain’s real estate investors are from the GCC members.
A limited amount of space to build on has underpinned price gains in the Kingdom, where a number of high-end developments are being built on reclaimed land.

Meanwhile, Bernt Andersson, chief executive officer, Tabreed Bahrain, the world leader in district cooling, said that the large-scale use of district cooling systems in Bahrain will bring large scale environmental benefits to the Kingdom, including a significant reduction in harmful Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions – otherwise known as greenhouse gases.

The company has estimated that for every 10,000 tons of district cooling provided the amount of CO2 emissions would be reduced by 14,700 metric tons annually. The estimate comes as Tabreed Bahrain plans for the provision of up to 450,000 tons of district cooling to the Manama North Shore for new and existing developments by 2030.

Tabreed Bahrain is also pioneering the use of seawater for its district cooling projects that are underway.

These include Bahrain Financial Harbour, Bahrain World Trade Centre, the Diplomatic area and Reef Island. In an arid desert climate like Bahrain the company cannot use or rely upon other sources of water for the operation of cooling systems and has therefore developed technology that will use renewable sea water resources.

Bahrain is a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, but with the country currently reaching very high per capita CO2 emissions, measured at 35 tons in 2002, there is a growing need for technology that can reduce emissions.


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