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Balancing housing affordability & revenue in Bahrain

Article-Balancing housing affordability & revenue in Bahrain

Scenic skyline of Manama with a Dhow boat in Bahrain.jpg
Bahrain prioritizes low-income housing support but opposes broad first-time buyer fee waivers to maintain financial stability and curb market risks.

In Bahrain, the government has decided that all housing services provided to low-income citizens will not have to pay real estate registration fees. This includes housing units and services for building, buying, or repairing homes.


The exemption covers all real estate fees without any exceptions. The Ministry of Housing wants to help citizens by offering housing options and loans. These options are for building, buying, or repairing homes.


Yet the Bahraini government has concerns about a proposed law from parliament. This law suggests waiving real estate registration fees for all citizens when they buy their first residential property.

The downstream issues this can create are what concerns the government. These concerns could include:

Loss of revenue:

First-time property buyer fees are an important source of government income. So if waived, the government might face a budget gap with the draft law reducing the state's income from fees. This could affect the government's ability to provide services and manage finances effectively.

Potential for abuse:

The government worries that the proposed law could create legal issues. There is a fear that people might exploit the first-time buyer rule by making fake contracts to avoid paying fees.

Unintended consequences:

Waiving fees could create a rise in property purchases. This might push housing prices higher. As a result, it could become tougher for future first-time buyers to afford homes.


The Bahraini government emphasises that exemptions from real estate fees are only for those who get loans from the Housing Bank. This applies to purchasing housing units or vouchers within the loan's limits.  So, the aim is to assist those who need help the most when buying a home. This ensures optimal use of the program's resources. Additionally, it helps control the property market in Bahrain. This prevents unregulated buying that could cause rapid rises in real estate prices.


Overall, the Bahraini government's policy highlights the delicate balance between supporting citizens and maintaining healthy public finances. While it prioritizes making homeownership achievable for low-income residents, it has concerns about a broader fee waiver due to potential drawbacks. This ongoing debate reflects the complexities of addressing housing affordability in Bahrain.

TAGS: Bahrain legal law
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