Rentals come down by 25 pc in Salalah

SALALAH, Nov 5 – The wide gap in demand and supply of houses seems to have bridged with the coming up of new residential areas and availability of many new flats all over Salalah.
There has been apparent correction in house rental from 25 to 30 per cent with better amenities and facilities attached to the new housing apartments.
Most of the new houses are fitted with good furniture and a new trend of offering Wi-Fi Internet facility in all the apartments for free is picking up fast among the real estate operators.
Thus those who rented houses during the Salalah’s real estate boom of 2005-2015, are thinking of moving to new accommodations, forcing the house owners to do make over of their houses and reduce the house rents to keep the tenants.
“When I came to Salalah in 2007 to work in Dhofar University, accommodation options were very limited.
Saada and Dahariz hardly had commercial buildings and the only option left with me was central Salalah. And the supply was so less that time that I had to stay in a furnished hotel apartment for about three months before I could get a proper accommodation.
“For this I had to alert many apartment caretakers to let me know if there was any vacancy,” said M Jyothi, an Indian expatriate.
Jyothi got a two-bedroom apartment for RO 200 per month, excluding water and electricity charges. “Now same specification new flats are available for RO 160-175 with new furniture and free Wi-Fi,” said Jyothi.

Jyothi then had a house agreement only for 10 months, as demand for houses was very high during khareef season and most of the house owners were making good money out of renting their houses on daily basis.
“So I ended up vacating the house every year. Packing my household items and keeping them at friend’s house and unpacking them again after coming from vacation was very tedious and tiring job. Now things have changed. Plenty of houses are available for proper 12-month agreement,” she said.
Another reason cited for the availability of so many houses now, is the completion of big projects like Salalah Airport and road over bridges. After the completion of these projects, workers who were occupying these houses moved to other locations, thus keeping so many houses empty.
To understand the supply scenario, one has to look at the developments going on in Saada, Dahariz, Sahalnoot and Taqah in the east and Awqad and Raysut in the west.
Every year, some 300 to 400 housing units are being added in Salalah and its adjoining areas and market is becoming competitive.
A visit to rental solution sites like OLX and Booking.com suffice this situation.
They have wide range of housing options available for Salalah.
Thamer Obaid, Head of Engineering Department at Dhofar Municipality, gave an insight into the status of housing sector in Salalah, and said, “Among the houses nearing completion are individual houses, villas only with ground floor and villas with single and two floors. Besides there are multi-storied houses and commercial buildings having four floors and above.”
According to official figures, 2,695 housing permits for Salalah were issued in 2014 out of which 20 per cent were ready for occupation before khareef season in 2015. Thus, an estimated 1,600 flats were added in Salalah during 2015 khareef.

Kaushalendra Singh