Home News House Hunting in Bahrain: Gulf Views From a Fish-Shaped Isle for $1 Million

House Hunting in Bahrain: Gulf Views From a Fish-Shaped Isle for $1 Million

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This 3 Bedroom Waterfront villa Located on an artificial island in the Persian Gulf, part of a large resort development called Durrat Al Bahrain, on the southeastern tip of Bahrain Island, the largest of the Bahrain Islands.

The modern-style concrete and brick villa was built on the 0.18-acre site around 2009 and was completely renovated last spring, said Jacqueline Maxwell, senior sales and leasing agent at Savills Middle East. increase.

With approximately 3,200 square feet of living space, the home includes rooms for maids and chauffeurs. The interior was designed by artist and member of the Bahraini royal family, Sheikh Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa. Furniture is included in the asking price.

Outside, you’ll find a fully equipped outdoor kitchen and BBQ area, plus a new swimming pool and a new 32 foot jetty to the Persian Gulf.

The front door leads to the foyer with the guest bathroom and the maid’s room to the left. Straight ahead is the open plan living and dining area with timber fluted panel ceilings and integrated lighting. Sliding floor-to-ceiling glass doors open to views of the pool terrace and bay.

There are 2 kitchens. The main includes a breakfast bar that opens onto the living area, a Corian worktop, and stainless steel Bosch appliances, Maxwell said.

Wooden staircases with glass balustrades lead to three ensuite bedrooms. The master and adjoining bedrooms have access to large balconies overlooking the water. The main bathroom is finished in white Vietnamese marble, while the other bathrooms are finished in various types of marble, terrazzo and Burmese teak.

The 22-by-15-foot swimming pool has been redone with custom Art Deco style tiles, and the deck consists of ceramic tiles designed to look like parquet. Outside the pool area is a separate structure with a bathroom, pump room and driver’s cab.

Maxwell said the site is planted with Washington State palm trees and a variety of heat- and salt-tolerant shrubs and plants. The villa’s carport is covered in shade from her new Ferrari parking, she said.

The property is located on an island called Petal 2 in Durrat Al Bahrain, a resort development of 15 man-made islands, some shaped like fish and atolls, connected by causeways and bridges. The landfill, which is expected to house up to 60,000 residents and 5,000 visitors when completed, will house thousands of villas and apartments in addition to hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, promenades, sports facilities, spas and marinas. I have.

White sand beaches line the various islands and the villas are approximately 1,100 feet from the beach. Durat Al Bahrain has services such as grocery stores and mosques, but hospitals and international schools are in Riffa, about 30 minutes by car, and the villa is about an hour south of Bahrain’s capital, Manama, and the international airport. I have. said Maxwell.

The Kingdom of Bahrain, which lies between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, consists of the main island of Bahrain and dozens of smaller islands, and has become a growing favorite among foreign retirees and investors. of life and the international population.

For example, Bahrain, considered more liberal than its Gulf Cooperation Council neighbors such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, allows women to work and drive. Arabic is the national language, but English is also widely spoken.

For the many foreigners introduced to the region through employment, “whether they’re American or British, we honestly can’t get them out of Bahrain,” said CBRE Middle East and North Africa research director. said Taymur Khan. “They actually love it. It’s such a fun lifestyle for them.”

Brokers say Bahrain’s housing market has softened in recent years due to an oversupply of housing, despite a growing population and an influx of expats.

“A large number of apartments and villas have entered the market in the last three years,” said Maxwell. “There was also a consequential impact on the sales market given that the purchase was primarily for investment purposes and the demand in the rental market was weak.”

Apartment prices in the first quarter of 2022 fell 9.5% from the first quarter of 2020, while villa prices fell 3.5% over the same period, she said.

“Travel restrictions, quarantines, and fewer tourists have naturally impacted the housing market, with restrictions limiting viewing,” Maxwell said. Now that restrictions have been lifted and buyers have returned, “numbers are returning to pre-pandemic levels,” she said.

Khan said apartment prices have risen about 2.3% over the past year. Average apartment prices in the first quarter of this year were 878 dinars per square meter ($215 per square foot) and 831 dinars per square meter (203 dinars per square foot) for mid-range to high-end two-bedroom properties across Bahrain. dollars) was ), according to CBRE’s Bahrain Market Review Q1 2022, in 2021. Villa prices have also increased by about 4%, he said.

“We have seen the market return to higher prices in most segments of the market,” Khan said. I am optimistic about the direction of the economy and some of the structural reforms the government has implemented.”

Last year, the Bahraini government introduced the Golden Residency Visa, allowing certain non-residents, including non-residents who own property valued at least 200,000 dinars ($527,000), to obtain long-term visas, said InfoReal Estate’s founder. Managing Director Bader Nath told Seef. “We’re seeing an effect,” he said. “Demand from foreigners who have obtained a golden visa is increasing.”

Foreigners in Bahrain are limited to purchases on freehold land, which tends to be islands and landfills, including Durrat Al Bahrain, Seef, Reef Island, Juffair, Amwaj Islands, Dirumunia Island, Diyal Al Muharraq and Riffa Views. And so on. Broker said.

New construction continues in Bahrain, most of it on Diyal Al Muharraq Island, which consists of seven man-made islands located near Manama. is likely to push down even further, Khan said.

Average house prices across Bahrain are now about half of comparable properties in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. “I mean, there’s a good deal of discount,” Khan said. “And the cost of living in general is cheaper than most places in the Middle East.”

About 75 to 80 percent of sales transactions in Bahrain are made by people from Gulf Cooperation Council countries, most of them coming from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Maxwell said.

Nath said many of the remaining buyers were British, Indians and Pakistanis.

According to Nath, the process of buying a home in Bahrain is very straightforward and the only restriction for foreigners is that they must purchase in one of the freehold zones.

With a system of government and private notaries handling transactions, Maxwell said, there would be no need for lawyers.

The government registration fee will be 1.7% of the selling price if paid within 90 days, then 2% for up to a year, she said. Buyers and sellers each pay a 1% commission to the broker.

Several banks and financial companies in Bahrain are overseen by the Kingdom’s single regulator, the Central Bank of Bahrain, to provide mortgage loans to foreigners. “Most banks in Bahrain offer loans of up to 80-90% for the purchase of villas, apartments or land for Bahrainis, but this amount is lower for foreign buyers, at 75%. It’s close to %,” said Maxwell. “Bahrain’s bank lending rates will fall in the 5-7% range.”

  • Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Board: btea.bh

  • Bahrain National Portal: Bahrain.bh

  • Survey and Land Registry Authority of the Kingdom of Bahrain: slrb.gov.bh

Arabic; Bahraini Dinar (1 Bahraini Dinar = $2.66)

There is no annual property tax, but the annual homeowners association and service fee for a villa of this size is about 1,700 dinars ($4,480), Maxwell said.

Jacqueline Maxwell, Savills Middle East, 011-973-6697-6679, savills.me

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