Oman’s government first enacted Omanization in 1988 to replace guest-workers and expatriates with Omani citizens in all jobs within the country. Oman and many other Gulf states rely heavily on foreign workers, but efforts to nationalize workforces to fight rising unemployment rates have accelerated in recent years. Oman intensified its Omanization policy over the past 12 months by increasing work permit fees by 50% for all expatriate workers.
Since March of 2020, more than 450,000 Australian citizens and permanent residents returned home on the advice of the Australian Federal Government. International travel was becoming increasingly complex and many countries established travel restrictions or closed borders.
The rental market in Moscow was greatly affected by the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, which resulted in many expats leaving the city, while simultaneously the local population suffered from a sharp increase in unemployment. Many expensive properties were left vacant by the exodus of expatriates, with the local population generally unable to spend as much on rent.
Between August 2019 and March 2020, Georgetown rents skyrocketed with strong oil and gas demand and limited rental supply. In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact Guyana and the Georgetown housing market. This, combined with the Guyanese General Elections on March 2nd, resulted in decreased demand. With fewer assignee arrivals, landlords became increasingly anxious over the thought of empty properties and are now more willing to negotiate rents.
The expatriate rental market in Luanda has been mostly uneventful over the past year. Kwanza prices for apartments and villas have not shown any major movements, although in USD rental prices have come down due to the depreciating Kwanza.
London rents decreased over the last twelve months with the impact of COVID-19. Multiple lockdowns have forced renters to re-evaluate where they want to live. Demand has shifted to rentals with more space, such as balconies, terraces, and gardens. Work-from-home and remote work policies enable tenants more flexibility and recent demand has been for suburban locations with access to green spaces.
Singapore’s expatriate rental market is relatively stable despite more assignee departures than arrivals. While supply is greater than demand, sources say most incoming expatriates want to live in apartments close to MRT and schools. Many landlords of desirable apartments can continue to charge listed rents for now.
Heung Gong – the Cantonese translation of Hong Kong means “Fragrant Harbor,” a name inspired by the city’s past as an incense trading port.
On July 15th here in my hometown, Hong Kong enacted its most stringent Covid-19 lockdown to date. The number of cases here has continued to rise over the past ten days with many of the new infections are coming from unknown origins.
I arrived early in the morning at Kinshasa’s N'djili International Airport this past January 29th on a connecting flight from Addis Ababa. Upon arrival, I expected the same chaos that I experienced during my previous surveys in 2003 and 2008, but I was pleasantly surprised.