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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 8:25 am   #1
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Lightbulb Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

I really want to hear about your experiences in buying a property in Bahrain. I'm new to the region but have experience in property investment..

Not looking for advice on the process of buying, just a few anecdotes, personal experiences and cautionary tales...

If I were to condense my thoughts on this into short lists of pros / cons, it would look something like this:

Pros
- Whichever way you look at it, the rental yields are much higher than the UK. 10% gross
- Can get a mortgage out here
- Low unit prices, affordable
- Some very high quality places
- I can live there until I decide to leave
- Expats seem to love Bahrain, more so than Dubai

Cons
- Political uncertainty here. I think that's factored into the gross yield though
- Huge supply coming to the market, although I am looking for luxury places (Fontana) which there are fewer of
- Mortgages for expats are around 5%. Although I probably won't need more than a 60% mortgage
- Economic situation not great

What do you think?

The Oracle of Omaha once said "Be fearful when others are greedy, be greedy when others are fearful". I can see a lot of fear around here

Last edited by Queef Latinah; Oct 23rd 2017 at 8:29 am. Reason: Added a pro
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 9:34 am   #2
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Default Re: Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

no
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 10:16 am   #3
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Default Re: Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

why would anyone want to buy a property in Bahrain
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 10:40 am   #4
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Default Re: Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

That's strange.. I put up a detailed post carefully weighing up the pros and cons, and it seems to have gone missing. Either there's a conspiracy against me or I'm just a complete noob..

I'm looking for any expat experiences / anecdotes / cautionary tales on this topic (as oppose to practical advice on the process)

I can condense my thoughts on this into these two high level lists:

Pros:
- around 10% gross rental yield. At current prices, a zone 4 London property yields about 4%
- low unit prices, i.e. I don't need a big mortgage to buy one here
- some really high quality places here, super luxury (think Fontana)
- Expats seem to love Bahrain

Cons:
- Political uncertainty
- Economy is poo
- Tons of supply coming up. The skyline is 50% crane and scaffolding

Look forward to hearing any experiences out there..

I remember reading an FT article about 10 years ago saying that there was a property bubble in Dubai and that the economy there was facing catastrophe. If you had bought a flat there during this time you would have tripled your money by now...

In Bahrain you can pick up a 1 bed luxury flat for gbp 130k, fully furnished and with 3 swimming pools, Turkish baths, cinema, 2 gyms, tennis, squash, etc etc

In London I was living in ex-council flat on the outskirts, 1 hour from the city, the only facilities it had were a few pot plants outside the gaff, valued at gbp 430k (2 bed). Some mug is renting it off me for 1450 per month.

I know you can't compare, but surely someone else must've been tempted enough to take the plunge?
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 11:40 am   #5
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Default Re: Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queef Latinah View Post
That's strange.. I put up a detailed post carefully weighing up the pros and cons, and it seems to have gone missing. Either there's a conspiracy against me or I'm just a complete noob..
Neither, your post went into a Mod queue waiting for approval.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 12:00 pm   #6
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Default Re: Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

Bahrain is a very small market. The smallest in the GCC. It doesn't have the expat churn of the UAE and I'd think the country is the one most susceptible to major political changes.

Why not look at Dubai? Property in prime Dubai areas are likely to retain value in the long run.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 12:06 pm   #7
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Default Re: Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

Don't be the person that gives someone their exit unless you punish them for it. It will take a long time to sell this stuff, but then again 10% yields pay it back quickly so it may work out if you have a long-term view.

The real risk is the currency.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 12:12 pm   #8
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Default Re: Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queef Latinah View Post
That's strange.. I put up a detailed post carefully weighing up the pros and cons, and it seems to have gone missing. Either there's a conspiracy against me or I'm just a complete noob..

I'm looking for any expat experiences / anecdotes / cautionary tales on this topic (as oppose to practical advice on the process)

I can condense my thoughts on this into these two high level lists:

Pros:
- around 10% gross rental yield. At current prices, a zone 4 London property yields about 4%
- low unit prices, i.e. I don't need a big mortgage to buy one here
- some really high quality places here, super luxury (think Fontana)
- Expats seem to love Bahrain

Cons:
- Political uncertainty
- Economy is poo
- Tons of supply coming up. The skyline is 50% crane and scaffolding

Look forward to hearing any experiences out there..

I remember reading an FT article about 10 years ago saying that there was a property bubble in Dubai and that the economy there was facing catastrophe. If you had bought a flat there during this time you would have tripled your money by now...

In Bahrain you can pick up a 1 bed luxury flat for gbp 130k, fully furnished and with 3 swimming pools, Turkish baths, cinema, 2 gyms, tennis, squash, etc etc

In London I was living in ex-council flat on the outskirts, 1 hour from the city, the only facilities it had were a few pot plants outside the gaff, valued at gbp 430k (2 bed). Some mug is renting it off me for 1450 per month.

I know you can't compare, but surely someone else must've been tempted enough to take the plunge?

If you are looking for certainty in a risky market then you'll never be convinced to buy. 10% gross yield in a risky market seems low to me, you might get 6-8% in a bank there for comparatively less hassle.

As for political uncertainty remember its less than 4 years since people were shooting each other in the street over there.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 12:45 pm   #9
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Default Re: Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DXBtoDOH View Post
Bahrain is a very small market. The smallest in the GCC. It doesn't have the expat churn of the UAE and I'd think the country is the one most susceptible to major political changes.

Why not look at Dubai? Property in prime Dubai areas are likely to retain value in the long run.
I was looking at Dubai and the yields are lot lower, around 5%. BUT I do like the stability and leadership of the place. Dubai has a positive buzz about it.

Am certainly looking out for an opportunity there.

However, it's still a foreign market for me whereas I happen to know agents, development companies etc in Bahrain so it's a known unknown. Dubai is a complete stranger to me!
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 12:51 pm   #10
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Default Re: Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
If you are looking for certainty in a risky market then you'll never be convinced to buy. 10% gross yield in a risky market seems low to me, you might get 6-8% in a bank there for comparatively less hassle.

As for political uncertainty remember its less than 4 years since people were shooting each other in the street over there.
People are still blowing up police cars here, it just isn't reported.

I do accept there is huge risk involved, but if there were some expats here who have been through the thought process, some insights would help me decide...

I'm leaning towards the view that Dubai is a much more secure option, whilst still having a better rental yield than London ...
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 12:52 pm   #11
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Default Re: Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queef Latinah View Post
People are still blowing up police cars here, it just isn't reported.

I do accept there is huge risk involved, but if there were some expats here who have been through the thought process, some insights would help me decide...

I'm leaning towards the view that Dubai is a much more secure option, whilst still having a better rental yield than London ...
Currency.
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 12:58 pm   #12
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Default Re: Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
Don't be the person that gives someone their exit unless you punish them for it. It will take a long time to sell this stuff, but then again 10% yields pay it back quickly so it may work out if you have a long-term view.

The real risk is the currency.
Yup, it's a buyers market here. Sellers will burn their fingers. Rental market still strong, my luxury building is nearly full.

Currency wise, dinar is pegged to the dollar which is a "safe" currency, the dollar, tax-free income is actually a great insurance against brexit impact!
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Old Oct 23rd 2017, 1:25 pm   #13
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Default Re: Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Queef Latinah View Post
Yup, it's a buyers market here. Sellers will burn their fingers. Rental market still strong, my luxury building is nearly full.

Currency wise, dinar is pegged to the dollar which is a "safe" currency, the dollar, tax-free income is actually a great insurance against brexit impact!
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Old Oct 24th 2017, 10:10 am   #14
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Default Re: Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

Again this is not what you asked for but info. on the site Global Property Guide - may be of some interest. Seems it is a tiny market - the last survey for prices was 2008 ( most places get an annual survey). It says prices rose 600% in Manama over previous 3 years and that expat. landlord pay 10% municipal tax.
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Old Oct 24th 2017, 4:15 pm   #15
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Default Re: Anyone bought a property in the Bahrain?

The market in Bahrain property is of some interest to Saudis and to those who work there. I knew a few long-serving workers in Khobar who had boltholes in Manama, used for vacations and weekends.
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