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DOHA: The property market saw a 35 percent growth in the value and a 20 percent increase in the volume of property sales in Doha Municipality in Q4 2012, compared with the corresponding period in 2011. Those sales were mainly recorded in the non-freehold/usufruct areas (those designated areas where only Qatar and GCC nationals can buy land), says the latest Asteco Qatar report.
Broken down still further, in Q4 2012 there was a 44 percent increase in the total value and a two percent increase in transaction volumes of villa transactions, compared with Q3 2012, indicating a higher average transaction value, the report noted quoting the Qatar’s Ministry of Justice data.
The total value of transactions for apartment blocks in the non-freehold areas increased in Q4 2012, compared with Q3 2012 by 87 percent and the volumes of transactions went up by 42 percent during the same period, the large variations being put down to the low number of transactions. Primary market prices, per square metre, in Porto Arabia-Pearl, Viva Bahriya-Pearl and Lagoon Plaza were QR13,500, QR 15,500 and QR12,500 respectively.
“Values of apartments on the Pearl-Qatar (freehold area) have increased marginally, but significant capital growth may be restricted in 2013 due to increased supply. However if the planned shopping facilities open and the national infrastructure projects boost population growth, areas such as Pearl-Qatar could witness a slight increase in demand,” said Jed Wolfe, Managing Director, Asteco Qatar.
Residential rental rates in Qatar were broadly stable across all locations in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with Q3, although villas in some premium locations experienced small rental increases due to constrained supply of good quality stock. Rents for five-bedroom villas in West Bay Lagoon stood at QR 27,500 per month, while rents for similar properties in Al Hilal, Ain Khaled and Al Gharrafa averaged around QR13,250 per month.
“There has been increased demand in the Pearl-Qatar, where one, two and four –bedroom apartments were the most sought after. However the increasing amount of supply coming to market will keep rates relatively unchanged and some landlords are foregoing increases at renewal to retain existing tenants,” added Wolfe. Average leasing rates for a two-bedroom apartment varied from QR 5,750 per month in Bin Omran and Al Maamoura up to QR 10,000 per month in West Bay and QR13,000 per month in Pearl-Qatar.
The office market in Qatar was static throughout 2012. With an existing oversupply and more to come in 2013, prices will be under pressure as tenants search for value. The strongest demand was for fitted suites of less than 500 square metres in grade ‘A’ buildings.The Peninsula