Issue No 304 - 23 March 2009
Property crisis less severe than reported

Many expatriates in the region believe that the property crisis is less severe than generally reported, according to a study by Zurich International Life (Zurich).

But the research shows many believe that the property market is still overvalued, said a statement.

According to the latest Wealth Monitor poll conducted by Zurich, half of those interviewed (48 per cent) in the UAE would spend any extra income on property, while 72 per cent would do so in Bahrain. Year on year, this is a 20 per cent rise for the UAE.

Carlos Sabugueiro, CEO of Zurich International Life, Middle East and Africa, commented: “We feel there is a healthy, long-term growth story within the GCC. We appreciate that the UAE has taken by far the greatest economic hit in the region, but Bahrain is looking quite healthy. Presently it is focused on developing its own infrastructure, notably the airport, sea port and causeway, which will filter benefits to the local economy and housing market. So it comes as no surprise that Bahrain expats are looking to spend their extra income on property.”

To emphasize the above point further, over 65 per cent of those questioned in Bahrain have property as one of their current investments, with the UAE at 27 per cent. However, it appears that only 17 per cent of those living in the UAE are worried about paying their mortgage, compared to 45 per cent in Bahrain, the study said.

Meanwhile, there are some lingering concerns about the price of property, with over 50 per cent of UAE and Bahrain expatriates stating that property is still too expensive to buy, the report said.

Source: Trade Arabia News

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