Oman Observer Samuel Kutty
In line with the medium-term fiscal balance plan, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning has started implementing a package of measures to rejuvenate Oman’s real estate market.
Accordingly, the real estate transaction fees have been reduced to 3 per cent from 5 per cent.
Other steps to revive the real estate market are licensing of rent-to-own or instalment sales and allowing the addition of floors in buildings provided that an annual fee is paid on them and opening the door to non-Omanis to own residential real estate units in multi-storey commercial residential buildings in specific areas. The initiatives, said the ministry, “will help achieve the goals of the medium-term fiscal balance plan and revitalise the real estate market in Oman.”
While appreciating the new move, Ridha al Saleh, Chairman of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said lowering of the real estate transaction fees will have a large and positive impact in the recovery of the real estate sector.
“The reduction will have a large and positive role in the recovery of the real estate sector in light of stagnation in different areas of the economy,” he said.
The chairman pointed out that the real estate sector plays a major role in the national economy in terms of providing improvement in the infrastructure in the housing sector, public utilities and related sectors.
According to Al Saleh, the cut in the fees will enhance and increase the real estate sector’s contribution to the GDP and create an attractive environment for local and foreign investments.
The real estate market in Oman has been under pressure since the fall in the oil prices, and adding fuel to fire has been the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
Data from the Real Estate Registry of the ministry shows that the value of real estate contracts traded during August reached RO 316.2 million, with fees collected having reached RO 5.6 million.
The total real estate transactions amounted to 26,470 during the same period, which included sales, gift, inheritance, swap, mortgage, mortgage redemption, division and usufruct actions in addition to visas.
The total value of sales contracts amounted to more than RO 67.8 million through 5,582 sales transactions being carried out across governorates, whilst fees collected for the sales was more than RO 3.14 million.