Hooked on property
Expatriates in Bahrain and the UAE still considering investing in property, says Zurich
March 22, 2009 1:02 by Dana El Baltaji
Expatriates living in Bahrain and the UAE are still keen on buying property in the two nations, in spite of the impact the world economic crisis has had on both markets, according to a survey conducted by Zurich International Life, an offshore insurance firm.
The study shows that 72 percent of expatriates in Bahrain, and 48 percent (up 20 percent from last year) in the UAE would spend any excess income on property, although 50 percent of respondents claim the price of properties in the region are too expensive to buy.
“We appreciate that the UAE has taken by far the greatest economic hit in the region, but Bahrain is looking quite healthy,” Carlos Sabugueiro, CEO of Zurich International Life, Middle East and Africa.
“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,” he added.
The survey also showed that over 65 percent of respondents in Bahrain and 27 percent in the UAE have invested in properties, and although the survey does not specify where. Significantly, however, 45 percent of expatriates in Bahrain fear defaulting on their mortgage payments, compared with 17 percent in the UAE.