Bahrain realty market growth may slow down

The Bahraini real estate market will extend growth on healthy local demand but at more moderate rates than those seen in the past two years, according to an executive at a major developer. The country has seen a higher proportion of local and regional investors – rather than expatriate buyers – in its property market in comparison to neighbouring markets. “That [local] demand will always be there,” said Mohammed Khalil Alsayed, Chief Executive of Ithmaar Bank and Ithmaar Development. “The prices here never heated up as in Dubai or other neighbouring countries,” he added, speaking at the Bipex 2008 property fair in Manama. Ithmaar Development predicts that it is still possible to attain between 15 per cent and 20 per cent returns on investment in high-end developments but it will not be at the red-hot pace seen in recent years. By Reuters