Word on the street: Decline in rents

October 23, 2017

Public opinion on the streets of Muscat

Do you think rents have really gone down? Are tenants calling the shots when it comes to rent negotiations?

Dr Thashli, Physician and diabetologist

Yes, rents have come down but the reductions vary from place to place. While areas like Qurm and Madinat as Sultan Qaboos have witnessed substantial reductions other popular areas like Ruwi and Al Khuwayr have seen marginal drop. Tenants can bargain in areas where the drop is more.

Jane Fage, Area manager

Rents have gone down, but not in all areas. Rents in Al Mouj and Muscat Hills are still the same. Tenants can call the shots only in areas where the drop is huge.

Abhilash Menon, Secretary

Rents have come down. The majority of landlords are compelled to reduce rents but some aren’t prepared to budge. Some landlords would rather have their properties be vacant than reduce rents.

Dr Abdul Momin, Doctor

Rents have gone down in both commercial and residential areas. This is because a lot of people are leaving Oman. Also, tenants can cite market slowdown as a reason and ask for reduction.

Soumen Patra, Aviation professional

Rents have gone down but only in specific areas. New building owners still demand more and some owners of old houses refuse to reduce rents. I don’t think that there is a big drop though.

Tamanna, Homemaker

Rents are down as compared to the last few years. One can also see ‘For rent’ boards even on new buildings. This is because of the economic slowdown, which will surely improve soon. I agree that tenants are at an advantage and calling the shots to reduce rents and waive off maintenance charges.

Q2. Have you renegotiated with your landlord to bring the rent down or are you planning to move to a new location where rents have declined?

Fathi Najm, Teacher

I think that the decline in rents has encouraged me to look for a bigger apartment. I will think of negotiating with the owner of my house only once the current contract expires.

Yahya Zakaria, Support manager

I have already moved to a new place where I was offered a much lower rent. I also know a lot of my colleagues who negotiated with the owner of their buildings and got the rents reduced.

Mohammed Badr, Teacher

There are plenty of apartments offering flats at lower rates. I know many people who are looking to shift for a more affordable price. Negotiating with the owners of the buildings will be difficult because most places have contracts that have to be abided with.

Ritu Mahapatra, Homemaker

The average rent prices have come down. We have not decided yet if we should look for a new place nor have we renegotiated with the landlord. But, our landlord after hearing of the market trend reduced the rent and sent us the new tenancy agreement.

Susmita Mishra, Teacher

We do not have to shift. Our landlord was kind enough to reduce the rent as he too heard about the drop. He was quick to agree and he seemed well aware of the market situation.

Asha Jyoti Das, Homemaker

We called our landlord and explained the situation. The owner heard us out and agreed to reduce the rent. Many of my friends have done the same and their landlords too have agreed to reduce the rents.

Q3. With so many ‘For rent’ signs across the city, do you think the real estate market is likely to improve in the near future?

Aiman al Musallami, Bank employee

No, I don’t think so. Though, things will stabilise but one can’t expect anything big unless the population increases. The reason is there are more houses and flats than people themselves.

Mathla Soud, Fresh Businesswoman

It may improve but marginally. One should be cautious before investing in real estate not only in Oman but anywhere in the world. The sector does not have the potential to guarantee any returns.

Adeel Safdar Chohan, Legal advisor

There are a lot of vacant flats and houses in different areas today. This is because many expatriate professionals are either being sacked from companies or have left due to financial crisis. Once the general economic situation in the country improves, the real estate sector too will pick up.

Mohammed Ilyas, Finance manager

The rents are down in many areas as there is a big gap in supply and demand. The situation is not going to change in the next couple of years as jobs are scarce. Also, the real estate sector has no support from the authorities.

Vikas Shukla, Private sector employee

 With the way recession has hit all aspects of economy, it is hard for the real estate sector to gain momentum soon. The gap between supply and demand is quite high now. The real estate can gain pace only if more white collar jobs are created.

Adeel Khan, Marketing manager

It is a classic case of demand and supply. A few years back landlords were dictating terms, while now it is the tenants who are calling the shots. For the real estate sector to bounce back, a lot depends on how fast the economy improves.