DTZ Quarterly Report Qatar Q1 2018: Residential Market Overview
Rents continued to soften in Q1 as the residential sector continues to feel the impacts of the economic downturn and a reduction in new demand. The impact on residential rents varies between unit types and quality. Prime villas and apartments have seen the highest percentage fall in rental levels, however this follows a period of strong rental growth between 2011 and 2015.
Asking rents for vacant apartments in West Bay and the Pearl Qatar have typically dropped by 8% – 12% over the past 12 months, with rent free incentives of one to two months now commonplace.
In the secondary market, asking rents have typically fallen by 6% to 10% over the past 12 months. This market has been impacted by a large number of new buildings, which has put pressure on occupancy rates.
The villa compound sub-sector was impacted most significantly by the fiscal consolidation program that followed the fall in global oil prices. This was largely due to the fact that compounds were previously subject to strong demand for corporate leases, with limited vacancy availability between 2013 and 2015. While many compounds remain fully occupied, an increase in overall vacancy rates has resulted in asking rents falling by up to 20% since the peak of the market.
Future demand for residential property will be driven by population increases. It is anticipated that the majority of the population increase in the coming years will be generated by expatriates in the service industry, as construction projects complete. DTZ expects this to drive demand for ‘affordabe residential property’. Ezdan Oasis, which opened in July 2017 has has identified this projected demand and targets both individual and corporate occupiers looking for staff accommodation. Rental levels of QAR4,500 for a one-bedroom apartment up to QAR6,500 for a three-bedroom have set a benchmark for newly built mid-market apartments on the outskirts of Doha.
Sales prices have also been falling over the past year, with purchasers looking to take advantage of the weaker market conditions. Second hand apartment sales in Porto Arabia are now typically transacting at prices between QAR11,000 and QAR12,500 per square metre, although some prime units and serviced apartments can still command premium prices of up to QAR17,000 per sq m.
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