Expats in Oman will now be able to purchase homes through Oman’s usufruct scheme using bank loans, the Times of Oman reported.
With the new decision by the Omani government, local banks will be providing loans to help expats fund their apartment investments. According to Fahad Al Ismaily, CEO of Tibiaan Properties, expats in Oman will be able to pay for flats under Oman’s usufruct scheme through bank loans repayable in instalments.
The scheme allows expats in Oman to purchase property in certain areas of Muscat, including Boushar, Seeb and Amerat.
“[MoHUP] has expanded and amplified the rule to make it understandable. They have issued a document which provides an explanation about the work being done, which is good, because there was a lot of confusion among people in this matter, as well as incorrect information sometimes given by real estate agents,” the Times of Oman cited Al Ismaily as saying.
OMAN'S USUFRUCT SCHEME
Last year, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (moHUP) granted usufruct rights for the ownership of limited lands and properties, including multi-storey commercial and residential buildings, to non-Omanis.
The move is aimed at boosting real estate investments in Oman through foreign investment opportunities. It was rolled out in addition to other initiatives in this space, including property ownership in integrated tourism complexes, and ownership of properties by GCC citizens outside restricted areas
Al Ismaily added that Oman’s usufruct scheme will be expanded to other governorates as well, especially commercial areas where non-Omanis may prefer to stay.
Oman’s usufruct scheme comes with certain conditions. Only those flats in buildings that are completed and are less than four years old are available for investment. Buildings must be at least four storeys high, with a minimum of two bedrooms.
Moreover, only 40% of apartments in a building can be allowed for purchase under the scheme, with a quote of up to 20% for people belonging to the same nationality allowed to buy apartments within the same building.
“This rule also looks to maintain the demography of the country, while ensuring every community maintains a healthy way of living and making sure everyone in the community is able to meet their needs,” Al Ismaily said.
Apartments should also have a minimum investment amount of OMR 35,000 (USD 90,000). Flats are transferable to legal heirs, and owners can retain ownership of apartments even after leaving the country.
Sale of apartments purchased under Oman’s usufruct scheme is only permitted four years or more post-purchase.
Photo credit: www.constructionweekonline.com/business/268145-oman-grants-non-omanis-usufruct-rights-to-buy-residential-units
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