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Doha land sales reach QAR6.3 billion in 2013


More than 1,700 sales transactions in Q4, with value up by ten per cent

February 11, 2014 12:49 by

The market for land remains the strongest of all of Qatar’s real estate sectors, with land sales representing approximately 75 per cent of property transactions in Q4 2013, reveals 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 Q4 2013, exceeded QAR6.3 billion, an increase of more than ten per cent from the QAR5.7bn 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 three months of 2013.

“The availability of quality residential property increased in Q4, 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 Q4 of last year, compared with Q3 of 2013,” saysJan Crisp, general manager at 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 QAR16,500 per month, which is a 16 per cent increase year on year.

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 five per cent and ten percent.

The sales market performed strongly in Q4 of 2013, with the number of sales transaction outperforming the previous quarter by 8.8 percent however, the overall value of sales decreased by 1.9 percent. 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 of one percent in The Pearl-Qatar. New apartments in Viva Bahriya continued to attract higher prices than apartments in Porto Arabia. 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 QAR11,000 and QAR17,200 per square metre.

The office market saw a limited amount of activity in Q4 of 2013 following a number of significant office deals agreed in the previous quarter and rates demand from the private sector is still evident, but requirements are usually for accommodation of between 200 and 500 square metres and many companies of this size are happy to secure offices in ‘secondary locations’ rather than pay the premium rates of more than QAR185 per square metre per month in West Bay.

Most 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 are 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.


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