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Call for wider codes on realty brokerage
Fahad Al Mukrashi
February 05, 2013 , 10 : 26 pm
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Expatriates in Oman have won the lion's share of the real-estate brokerage business in the Sultanate, something many observers equate with the skyrocketing prices of houses and flats leased here.
Up to 66 per cent of the real estate brokerage business in Muscat alone is controlled by expatriates, especially those from Arab countries, said Ahmed Al Balushi, a property owner.
The tenants of accommodations leased by these brokers are complaining about the sudden increases in rent in Muscat, without considering mortgage regulations made by the concerned authorities. Most landlords give their properties to real-estate brokers to run them as they please, for a fixed sum of money.
More than half of these brokers are employed at different full-time jobs, something that contravenes the labour law, said Naser Al Marooqi, a legal advisor. Citizens are demanding urgent intervention by the concerned authorities, requesting the establishment of a Real-Estate Market Authority to control rents in Oman.
Observers have noted that the price of land and the cost of construction materials and rented construction tools have doubled, leading to the skyrocketing prices of leases, which are almost double the rates of six years ago.
"A one-bedroom apartment in Al Khuwair used to be rented out for something between OMR200 and OMR250 in 2008. But now, the amount has shot up to anything between OMR350 and OMR400. In the case of new buildings, the rent is even higher," remarked Ahmed Al Harasi, a property dealer.
Jamal Al Mehrizi, a real-estate office owner, said expatriates working in the real-estate brokerage business should be penalised harshly if they don't have a licence for this work. Naseeb Al Hatmi, another property dealer, said that this booming real-estate brokerage industry should be Omanised as soon as possible.
The real-estate sector plays a key role in helping the Sultanate to achieve its vision for 2020 to diversify its economic base, so that it does not have to rely primarily on income from oil. The real-estate sector's contribution to the GDP was 10.2 per cent between 2003 and 2008 and is expected to increase by 10 per cent over the next five years.
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February 08 at 8 : 59 am
I second the idea of total Omanization in the sector of real estate just like the prevailing taxi system. As the land and buildings are located in Oman and so people of Oman should be responsible on how to handle the transactions. Expatriates have no reason to be involved in real estate deals, as they dont own properties, nor they can own properties other than at the free hold property ventures. The authority concerned with monitoring real estate in Oman should develop a system where there is a real estate license to be earned before anyone chooses to be involved in or wants to participate in the industry.
February 06 at 10 : 12 am
There is a world of difference between focusing on the problem and focusing on the solution for the problem. When the Americans first landed on the moon their scientists could not pen down notes as their pens would not write at zero gravity. When they came back to earth, the US government spent $12 million dollars for a period that span about a decade and developed a pen that could write at zero gravity and above 300 degree Celsius! However the Russians went to the moon before them, they used a pencil….
It is not only the cost of land and property and rent that have gone up, it is in fact everything! I do not know what the reasons are of those citizens requesting the establishment of a Real-Estate Market Authority to control rents. Personally I think it is not a good idea to curtail any industry. It is best to leave it open. A free market is very healthy and more and more competition produces lower & lower prices.
Today the world has a much larger population than half a century ago, there are more advanced machines than there were before. Technology is abundant and continues to grow than ever before. Everything is going forward. Everything is getting better. One would expect that because of all this Hard Work, costs and especially the cost of living should go down, lower and lower as the days go by, but it is the exact opposite. Prices are ever skyrocketing. Is this really an issue of omanization in the real estate sector? Is this really caused by the fact that over 66% of the real estate sector is run by foreigners? I do not think so.
The entire world economy is based on a Fiat Money system in which all currency enters the economy through Fractional Reserve Banking. Every single paper currency in circulation is earning compound interest as long as it is out of the banks. In this type of monetary system, currency only exists in the economy because someone borrowed it at interest from the banks in the first place and it is the only function of commercial banks to keep this currency in circulation under Fractional Reserve Banking. Thats why debt to the banks never end, they grow bigger. This is the only problem from which all the others grow upon. Of course there will be no focus on the monetary system since if you want people to look in the other direction, you simply burn a fire in the opposite direction….
John Brian Shannon
February 06 at 2 : 28 am
Here in the Province of British Columbia, Canada, we are blessed to have one of the best sets of laws and regulations on real estate and rental property in the world.
For real estate information please visit:
For rental property information, we have the Residential Tenancy Branch:
Best regards, JBS
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