Modest leasing activity characterises Qatar’s property sector over Q2 2011, according to the latest Asteco quarterly report. It found overall averages for apartment rental rates in Qatar ranged from QR4,000 to QR14,000 per month for two-bedroom properties showing little change from Q1.
Rental rates remained stable, particularly in apartment rental areas such as Al Sadd and the Pearl-Qatar, with average two-bedroom apartment rental rates of QR6,250 per month and QR13,000 per month respectively showing no movement from Q1 2011.
Asteco’s report also highlighted the strong upside for Qatar’s property market, spurred by economic development ahead of the Fifa World Cup 2022.
“Based on our latest residential market report, the outlook for Qatar’s residential property market is positive. This can be attributed to its stable political environment, its strong economy, and the developments planned in preparation for the World Cup in 2022, which will transform the face of Qatar,” said Elaine Jones, CEO, Asteco Property Management. Leasing activity and enquiries have continued to build in the Pearl-Qatar development, which is emerging as one of the state’s preferred locations owing to its contemporary design and increased amenities as development phases continue to be completed, Jones said.
According to the report, this is set to strengthen further still in the months ahead, as new retail outlets in the Pearl-Qatar open, with this placing further pressure on other leasing markets in Qatar.
“The slowdown in new units coming to the market has been one of the contributing factors to the stabilisation, coupled with the increased demand for Pearl-Qatar units,” added Jones. In villa rentals, the market remained steady. However, in Al Dafna there were some marginal increases in prices.
This ongoing popularity is attributed to various factors including strong employment opportunities, the prevalence of large individual villas and beach access, with the area attracting senior expatriate staff, wealthy Qataris and diplomats.
Sales transactions in Qatar were low over the last quarter. A gap remains between primary and secondary prices, although primary prices have stabilized and in some cases marginal increases in secondary process have been seen. In the commercial property sector, office rental rates showed a marginal decline of 3 per cent over the previous quarter, but some areas have remained strong, including the B Ring Road area, which saw an increase of QR5 per sq m.
The Asteco report also noted that there continues to be pressure on businesses to migrate from villas to purpose built office accommodation, as a result of Urban Planning Authority’s requirements. This is contributing to demand for Grade A office space, mostly within the business district, the report said.