MANAMA: Commercial office stock in Bahrain is set to increase by five per cent in 2019, according to global property consulting firm CBRE.
The firm’s third quarter 2019 Bahrain Market Snapshot reveals that Grade A and B gross leasable area (GLA) has risen to 1.33 million sqm, with the majority of supply within these grades in Manama, with Seef District accommodating 41pc.
The country has been experiencing an imbalance in supply-demand since the global economic downturn almost a decade ago and CBRE predicts that this is set to continue.
However, this does provide positive news to tenants as CBRE data reveals that average monthly rents have remained stable year-on-year at BD6 per sqm.
The quarterly report reveals that monthly prime commercial rents top out at BD10 per sqm.
Fitted commercial office space (sub 150 sqm) continues to be sought after by international corporates and local start-ups, demonstrating the success of recent government initiatives to cultivate a business environment that enables entrepreneurs to flourish.
CBRE also reports that serviced office operators are experiencing high demand and occupancy rates, which reflects current market needs.
A recent, and growing trend that CBRE predicts will continue in the short to medium term is an increase in the number of brands seeking co-working space in the kingdom.
This follows a global move towards non-traditional office environments – with flexible working and wellness solutions becoming increasingly important to local and international corporates alike.
Commenting, CBRE Bahrain associate director Heather Longden said, “Although we are continuing to witness subdued demand in commercial office space, there is definitely room for optimism, especially for developers and landlords that strive to meet the needs of the modern business community. In the short to medium term it will be very important for developers and landlords alike to diversify their offerings and ensure they provide the most innovative workplace solutions to successfully attract new tenants whilst retaining existing valued tenants.”
The report comes days after the 2019 InterNations Expat survey showed that Bahrain continues to be the best destination for expats to work, live and raise a family in the Middle East and North Africa.
In the survey, Bahrain finished first or second in the region across all the key metrics. It came first in the region for ‘ease of settling in’, ‘quality of family life’ and ‘cost of living’, which is very favourable when compared to GCC neighbours.
In its first ever report on Bahrain this July, property consultancy Cavendish Maxwell said bolstered by tourism, retail continues to be one of the kingdom’s most stable sectors, recording consistent capacity growth over the past decade.
Construction of at least three malls is underway and is scheduled for completion over the next few years.
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