Doha property market steady in first quarter
Doha, April 29, 2013
The Doha real estate market was marked by average sales, rental rates and stable activity levels during the first quarter of the year, reflecting a positive outlook as developers resurrect projects ahead of an infrastructure surge, a report said.
Overall property sales activity in Doha for the first quarter (Q1) of 2013 is holding its own, with a 2 per cent increase in the total value of transactions recorded in the first three months of the year, despite a corresponding 2 per cent dip in sales volume across all sectors against Q4 2012 figures, according to the latest Q1 2013 Qatar report released by real estate specialist Asteco.
Villa sales performed marginally better, with Qatar Ministry of Justice data revealing a 6 per cent increase in total transaction value and an 8 per cent growth in the number of villa transactions, compared with Q4 2012, while the total value of transactions for apartment blocks fell by 56 per cent in Q1 versus the final quarter of last year.
Primary market prices, per square metre, in Porto Arabia-Pearl, Lagoon Plaza were QR13,500 ($3,620), and QR12,500 respectively, mirroring Q4 2012 prices.
Off-plan sales are also undergoing a small revival, with the report noting that some developers are selling units on a payment plan in towers under construction.
“While the market is showing no real movement in terms of sales activity, we are seeing a noticeable increase in the number of feasibility studies and valuations being conducted for development and finance, which is a clear indicator of increased market confidence as developers look to restart or commence construction in the coming months,” said Jed Wolfe, managing director, Asteco Qatar.
This is supported by the news that a number of key infrastructure projects are moving into the early phases of tangible development, following the commencement of enabling work on the Doha Metro, awarding of the QR2.3 billion contract for the Doha Expressway, and the QR2.5 billion contract for the Lusail Expressway.
The villa rental market continues to outperform the apartment market in premium locations, with small rental increases recorded due to shortage of villas in prime waterfront locations.
According to the Asteco report, rents for five-bedroom villas in West Bay Lagoon stood at QR27,500 per month, while rents for similar properties in Al Dafna were averaged at QR20,750 per month, and QR13,250 in Al Hilal, Ain Khaled and Al Gharrafa.
There has also been little change in the office market over the last quarter, with rents remaining static in Q1 2013 as issues of oversupply affect rates, forcing building owners to become more flexible in their leasing terms, with a move towards split-building leasing and floor or part-floor letting.
Demand for smaller fitted units of 500 sq m or less in the CBD is also rising as a cost-effective commercial solution, the report said. – TradeArabia News Service