Majlis panel seeks review in real estate transaction fee

By Fahad Al Ghadani — MUSCAT: Feb. 7 – The Ministry of Housing needs to review the rise in the transaction fees, the Social Development Committee of the Majlis Ash’shura has said. According to a tweet from the official account of Majlis Ash’shura, the recommendation was based on the impact of increased fees on real estate market and citizens with low incomes.
The ministry increased its transaction fees last year from 3 per cent to 5 per cent of the land value.
The increase was widely discussed on social media, with some saying it had the potential to “dampen local and foreign investment” in this promising economic sector.
Abdullah al Balushi, a real estate broker based in Muscat, said: “People now think twice deciding to sell or buy a property. The extra fee they have to pay to the Ministry of Housing (5 per cent of the property value), is high,” he said.
Welcoming the committee’s move, he hoped the fee would be revised to 3 per cent. “The increase is almost double. In such an atmosphere, the market will be affected and investment chances will be limited,” said Al Balushi.
The ministry has issued a price schedule to specify the value of the real estate as per the market price. It clarified the schedule is a reference point for real estate transactions.
The ministry is expected to complete the process of e-linking with real estate brokerage firms by this March.