Qatar land sale trasactions top $1.68bn
Doha, February 10, 2014
Qatar's real estate market witnessed solid growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 with land sales transactions surging to more than QR6.3 billion ($1.68 billion) when compared to the previous year.
The market for land remains the strongest of all of Qatar’s real estate sectors, with land sales representing approximately 75 per cent of all property transactions in the fourth quarter, according to property expert Asteco.
Over 1,700 sales transactions were completed in fourth quarter with the value of transactions up by 10 per cent in final quarter, stated the latest 'Asteco Qatar Q4 2013 real estate' report.
According to figures released by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the total value of land transacted in fourth quarter 2013, exceeded QR6.3 billion, up 10 per cent from the QR5.7 billion recorded in the previous quarter.
The volume of transactions also increased in the final quarter of the year, with more than 1,500 properties changing hands in the last 3 months of 2013, stated the Asteco statement.
“The availability of good quality residential property increased in fourth quarter, with the release of three new residential towers in The Pearl-Qatar. However residential rental rates were broadly stable across all locations in Doha in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with the previous quartrer,” stated Asteco’s general manager Jan Crisp.
According to Asteco, the increase in available apartment units there has seen rental rates stabilise after significant increases were witnessed following a period of undersupply in the previous quarter.
A two-bedroom apartment in The Pearl Qatar now rents for up to QR16,500 per month, the same as the third quarter, but still a 16 per cent increase year-on-year.
According to Asteco, in terms of leasing villas, demand remains strong for good quality properties in well-located compounds, with demand strongest for four and five-bedroom houses.
The limited choices available to expatriates, especially close to schools, are resulting in rental increases in this sector. Year-on-year rental rates in most residential areas have typically seen growth of between 5 per cent and 10 per cent, said the expert.
The sales market performed strongly in fourth quarter of 2013, with the number of sales transaction outperforming the previous quarter by 8.8 per cent however, the overall value of sales decreased by 1.9 per cent.
Asteco experienced an increasing number of residential mortgage valuations throughout 2013, however this tailed off in December.
Residential sales prices saw a marginal quarter-on-quarter increase in values of 1 per cent in The Pearl-Qatar. New apartments in Viva Bahriya continued to attract higher prices than apartments in Porto Arabia, it added.
High quality villas in areas such as West Bay Lagoon and The Pearl-Qatar have seen a number of sales transactions in the last three months, highlighting the strong demand for these properties, usually from Qatari nationals. Prices depending on whether direct sale or resale vary between QR11,000 and QR17,200 per sq m.
On the office market scenario, Asteco said it saw a limited amount of activity in fourth quarter following a number of significant office deals agreed in the previous quarter rates.
Demand from the private sector is still evident, but requirements are usually for accommodation of between 200 and 500 sq m and many companies of this size are happy to secure offices in ‘secondary locations’ rather than pay the premium rates of more than QR185 per square metre per month in West Bay, said the report.
According to Asteco, most of the office buildings are available on a shell and core basis. In West Bay, however, there are a limited number of fully-fitted office towers available in small suites or on a floor by floor basis, which attract premium rents.
Vacancy levels in secondary locations is high, however, much of this accommodation is below the standards required by many tenants. It is likely that the office sector will begin to rely on the private sector, as a substantial amount of the government departments in Qatar have already moved to new offices in West Bay.-TradeArabia News Service