Real estate industry in Middle East confident about future despite rise in job losses

People working in the real estate industry in the Middle East have been hit hard by the property downturn with many losing their jobs and many receiving no bonus but they are still upbeat about the future.

The average base salary of a real estate professional working in the Middle East is $10,340 per month, according to the annual Middle East salary survey for the real estate market from recruitment consultants Macdonald & Company and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveryors.

The average bonus on top of basic salaries is also down, falling from $15,446 last year to £13,630. But some 59% received no bonus at all compared with just 18% in the 2008 survey.

Compared to 2008 salaries are down 3.7% but they are still higher than they were in 2007. The survey also revealed that 24% have been made redundant in the last 12 months but some 66% of those have already found new jobs.

The survey also showed that 19% of respondents saw some form of pay reduction last year with large numbers expecting reductions in 2009. Bonuses have also been affected and benefits packages have being cut to save costs.

There was still confidence though in the long-term prospects of the real estate market throughout the Middle East, with 46% expecting an increase in economic activity in the next 12 months.

Salary and responsibility as the most important factors when it comes to job satisfaction in the industry, followed closely by job security and career progression. The offer of a better salary is still the most likely impetus for changing job being cited by respondents.

‘There are early signs of improvement in the world economy, but confidence and availability of capital continue to severely affect the real estate market. Despite the current economic climate, the job market has not and will not grind to a halt. Many organisations are taking the opportunity to up skill or expand teams that have suffered long term skill shortages,’ said Macdonald & Company director William Buck.

‘Also, there is an emergence of a new breed of professionals whose proficiency lies in maximising the value of real estate assets, as companies are restructuring, refinancing and re-determining their position in line with current market conditions,’ he added.

A total of 2,083 Middle East real estate professionals – double the number of participants last year – took part in the online survey by Macdonald & Company, which was conducted in July and August.


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