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RIYADH: Oman’s residential real estate market witnessed a notable surge, with residential land prices leading the overall index to a 2.5 percent increase in the third quarter of 2023, according to the National Center for Statistics and Information.  

The latest data released by the NCSI revealed a 7.1 percent growth in the residential land price index. In contrast, the index for residential apartment prices witnessed a decline of 9.1 percent. Villa prices also experienced a decrease of 2.6 percent, and other homes recorded a significant decline of 15.3 percent.  

The general residential real estate price index showed a decrease of 3.8 percent compared to the second quarter of 2023, with the residential land price index specifically recording a 4.3 percent decrease. 

During this period, apartment prices also witnessed a decline. Throughout 2023, there has been an incremental demand for rental properties in Muscat due to the steady growth in the expatriate population, according to a report released in October by global real estate services provider Savills. 

This heightened demand in relation to supply has resulted in a decrease in the number of available residential units for rent.

Savills mentioned an ongoing introduction of lower-grade residential units, especially apartments, into the rental market, leading to a general oversupply. 

However, the report highlighted that the supply of higher-grade properties in established localities or larger projects, offering a more integrated lifestyle, has been increasingly limited relative to the growing demand as the expatriate population expands.

While the supply of new developments in Muscat remains stable, Savills said the introduction of new projects has decelerated. Demand for office space in Muscat is moderate, with a preference for smaller office spaces, while larger spaces face limited demand. 

The report noted that areas like Al Mouj have become highly sought after, attributed to the quality of properties, professional property management, a growing array of retail and food and beverage outlets, and a diverse range of leisure facilities. 

The real estate service provider pointed out that Oman’s economy has undergone positive changes over the last two years. This improvement in the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals is attributed to the increase in commodity prices during this period.  

In September, Oman experienced a 1.3 percent inflation surge, primarily propelled by increases in food and beverage prices, according to the NCSI’s data. 

However, the inflation rate in October remained lower than that of September 2022, standing at 2.4 percent.  

The consumer price index reflected upward trends in various categories, particularly in the food and non-alcoholic beverages subgroup, which saw a 3.4 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year. 

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