DTZ Quarterly Report Qatar Q1 2019: Residential Market Overview
The potential market for residential sales has been expanded by Law No. 16 of 2018, which was implemented in March of 2019, as the number of ‘freehold’ zones in Qatar has been increased from three to 10.
According to the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics’ most recent reports, both the overall number of residential sales and the total value of transactions in Qatar in January and February increased by 40% and 32% respectively compared to the corresponding months last year; however, the average price per transaction has decreased by 6% as purchasers take advantage of a softening market.
Several new residential towers have recently been completed in Viva Bahriya, with a significant number of additional buildings in Abraj Quartier, the Marina District and Viva Bahriya expected to complete within the next 12-18 months. Furthermore, quite a few new residential towers are due to come to the market in West Bay, although these are largely serviced apartments developments, some of which are connected to 5-star hotel entities.
As supply increases, so does the range of options available to residents in all income brackets. The average rental reduction of more than 20% over the past three years has increased the affordability of many prime locations, with increased demand for West Bay and The Pearl-Qatar being driven by residents looking to ‘trade-up’. The lower rents that are now on offer are also being supplemented by rental incentives, such as rent-free periods or the inclusion of utility bills within quoted rents.
While residential rents have typically fallen by between 5% and 8% over the past 12 months. a lack of available three-bedroom units in Porto Arabia has seen rents for these units increase, bucking the general trend.
The large increase in the number of one-bedroom units being delivered to the market in new and upcoming developments (in comparison with two and three-bedroom units) is likely to see greater downward rental pressure on these units in the coming year.
Occupancy rates in villa compounds has also been recovering throughout Doha, particularly in some of the more sought-after developments. This has resulted in rental levels stabilizing after a period of decline between 2016 and 2018.
Apartment sales prices in The Pearl Qatar vary between districts and unit sizes. New studio and one-bedroom units in Viva Bahriya can still command prices in excess of QAR 16,000 per sq m, while two-bedroom, second-hand apartments in Porto Arabia have been transacting for less than QAR 13,000 per sq m.
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