government

Reverse migration continues as schools remain closed

March 16, 2021

There has been an exodus of families from houses near school areas to less populated areas where flats are available at cheaper rates as major schools have remained closed for over a year now.
The culture of online education too has triggered a sense of reverse migration among most expatriate families. Some have moved back to their countries; some have opted for a city closer to their workplace in place of the area where their children’s schools are located.
“Reverse migration from school areas to other areas is the bi-product of the closure of schools and the emergence of online education. We have some families who have migrated back to their countries while some have opted to stay closer to their workplace over their children’s school,” says Shijas Rahman, Marketing Manager, Areej Mutrah LLC.
A plethora of signboards reading ‘flats for rent’ or ‘for sale’ at locations around major expatriate schools indicates that flats and apartments are ready to be occupied while some furnished flats offer one-month free stay.
“We have flats around Darsait, Ruwi and Muttrah, and recently in Amerat areas where the incumbent resident can stay for a month free before signing the tenancy agreement,” a representative of a leading realtor told the Observer.
According to a recent report, this reverse migration is happening due to two fundamental factors.
“The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and lower oil prices will place both the residential and office space rental sectors in Muscat under further pressure over the coming months, says a recent report by a major realtor.
As a result, increasingly challenging economic conditions and an acceleration of the exodus of the expatriate population will be quite visible.
Shabab Puthiyapurayil, MD, Grouper Real Estate said there is a trend of downgrading and people are fast moving apartments based on price.
“Although we are not much affected by the reverse migration, there’s a trend of downgrading and people are moving from their residences to cheaper housing yet with same facilities.”
He added that downgrading is a process where people are provided with the same facilities but at a lower rent which encourages them to move from their houses whose rents are not being reduced.
There is a classification system of houses according to location and amenities. Classification ‘A’ is the best quality housing, while ‘C’ being the lowest. Premium housing has not been affected by this reverse migration and most of the flats, apartments, and villas in ‘A’ zones remain in pre-Covid status.
“We have ‘A’ class housing in prime locations which are not affected by this phenomenon where people opt for the same facility at cheaper rents as most of our housing units are rented by top executives who don’t want to change their residences unless necessary,” adds Shabab.

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