Oman mulls real estate price index

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Salalah_OmanThe newly formed Oman Real Estate Association (OREA) has strongly advocated the introduction of a Real Estate Price Index aimed at injecting stability, transparency and professionalism in the country’s thriving property sector, the Oman Observer reported.

The index, according to a key representative, is one of several initiatives being weighed by the non-governmental organisation to help provide strong underpinnings to the industry. Saleh al Riyami, Deputy Chairman of OREA, said the absence of a price index for the real estate sector was one of several shortcomings stymieing the effective and optimal growth of the sector.

“From a regulatory point of view, we are missing a few things in Oman — one of them is that we don’t have a real estate index where you (as an investor) can base your real information on. Do you rely on the developer for your information or do you approach an independent agency for the same? At OREA, we are in the process of creating such an index,” Al Riyami stated during a panel discussion held as part of the just-concluded Oman Construction Summit 2014.

“We want (the investor) to have access to credible and clearly defined information, so people are not taken for a ride,” Al Riyami further added during the discussion on the theme, ‘Encouraging the development of real estate and housing projects in Oman’.

Significantly, the question of a price index for the real estate market is one of several issues that the Association plans to focus on at an upcoming meeting with Commerce and Industry Minister Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, who is also Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Planning Council. High on the agenda is the Association’s appeal for the establishment of a single-window system or ‘one-stop shop’ for the facilitation of all real estate related investment and development applications.

At present, investors and developers have to approach a multiplicity of ministries and government bodies for obtaining the necessary approvals.  They include the Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Muscat Municipality, Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, Public Authority for Electricity and Water, and so on.

“We would like (Al Sunaidy) to set up a team represented by all the concerned government agencies which can together with the developers to ease most of the regulatory issues,” Al Riyami said. “We would also like to see a committee created where all the ministries will sit at one table. It is something of a one-stop shop from where the developer will get the required mandate (to progress his project),” he further added.

Another issue slated for discussion with authorities pertains to the need for a housing association that will represent the interests of property holders and owners, according to the official. Existing housing regulations do stipulate the establishment of an association, but this aspect of the law has not been activated yet, he said.

The remit of the proposed association, Al Riyami said, would also encompass issues to do with the maintenance and upkeep of buildings upon their handover by the developers, car parking concerns, and so on. Part of the Association’s mandate is to support the growth of the affordable housing segment of the market, he said. In this regard, the Association plans to work with banks and other stakeholders to help young Omanis achieve their “life’s mission” of owning a home, he added.

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

The newly formed Oman Real Estate Association (OREA) has strongly advocated the introduction of a Real Estate Price Index aimed at injecting stability, transparency and professionalism in the country’s thriving property sector, the Oman Observer reported.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Salalah_OmanThe newly formed Oman Real Estate Association (OREA) has strongly advocated the introduction of a Real Estate Price Index aimed at injecting stability, transparency and professionalism in the country’s thriving property sector, the Oman Observer reported.

The index, according to a key representative, is one of several initiatives being weighed by the non-governmental organisation to help provide strong underpinnings to the industry. Saleh al Riyami, Deputy Chairman of OREA, said the absence of a price index for the real estate sector was one of several shortcomings stymieing the effective and optimal growth of the sector.

“From a regulatory point of view, we are missing a few things in Oman — one of them is that we don’t have a real estate index where you (as an investor) can base your real information on. Do you rely on the developer for your information or do you approach an independent agency for the same? At OREA, we are in the process of creating such an index,” Al Riyami stated during a panel discussion held as part of the just-concluded Oman Construction Summit 2014.

“We want (the investor) to have access to credible and clearly defined information, so people are not taken for a ride,” Al Riyami further added during the discussion on the theme, ‘Encouraging the development of real estate and housing projects in Oman’.

Significantly, the question of a price index for the real estate market is one of several issues that the Association plans to focus on at an upcoming meeting with Commerce and Industry Minister Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, who is also Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Planning Council. High on the agenda is the Association’s appeal for the establishment of a single-window system or ‘one-stop shop’ for the facilitation of all real estate related investment and development applications.

At present, investors and developers have to approach a multiplicity of ministries and government bodies for obtaining the necessary approvals.  They include the Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Muscat Municipality, Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, Public Authority for Electricity and Water, and so on.

“We would like (Al Sunaidy) to set up a team represented by all the concerned government agencies which can together with the developers to ease most of the regulatory issues,” Al Riyami said. “We would also like to see a committee created where all the ministries will sit at one table. It is something of a one-stop shop from where the developer will get the required mandate (to progress his project),” he further added.

Another issue slated for discussion with authorities pertains to the need for a housing association that will represent the interests of property holders and owners, according to the official. Existing housing regulations do stipulate the establishment of an association, but this aspect of the law has not been activated yet, he said.

The remit of the proposed association, Al Riyami said, would also encompass issues to do with the maintenance and upkeep of buildings upon their handover by the developers, car parking concerns, and so on. Part of the Association’s mandate is to support the growth of the affordable housing segment of the market, he said. In this regard, the Association plans to work with banks and other stakeholders to help young Omanis achieve their “life’s mission” of owning a home, he added.

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