Bahrain Real Estate News
Proposed Expat Property Bill withheld
A new proposed bill that permits expatriates to purchase residential plots in Bahrain is said to have been blocked by parliament, fearing that the bill would considerably boost the prices of real estate in the country.
According to MPs, such a bill if passed, may lead to major problems, as Bahrainis will then be unable to afford the housing. This could further come in the way of efforts to draw foreign investment, as there is limited land in the country.
MPs further argued that current legislation permits GCC nationals to purchase residential and investment properties. If the doors are open for expatriate purchases too, then a new market will emerge, wherein, GCC nationals get to purchase bulk plots and then sell them off to highest expatriate bidder.
This, in turn, will affect the availability of residential plots for nationals, which at the moment are limited in number. The prices would go up, and this indicates that several Bahrainis will be unable to afford purchase of residential plots.
Al Mahmood also said that it will be easier and more profitable for owners of large land to divide it into smaller plots and sell them. This harms moves by the Economic Development Board to draw foreign investment.
Under the rejected bill, expatriates were allowed to purchase residential plots of less than 2000 sq m, although, they are not allowed to sell it prior to four years of purchase date. The proposal will be submitted to the Shura Council for study.
Posted on 10/5/2012
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