DOHA: Qatar’s residential property sale transactions reached a multi-year high during the second quarter of 2013, driven by higher purchases of freehold properties in prime areas such as Pearl Qatar. However, despite a rise in transactions, sales prices remained mostly unchanged from the first quarter this year, according to market analysts.
Rising supply of new stock of office space is expected to counter the rise in demand, thus exerting pressure on rental growth. The current undersupply situation is likely to reverse with the supply of new stock of residential space during the year that in turn would restrict rental growth, analysts at Global Investment House (GIH) noted in the “2Q 13 GCC Real Estate” report.
On residential property sales, the year 2013 is expected to remain muted with incoming supply of new stock; however, some pockets, especially Pearl Qatar, may witness marginal growth in prices with the launch of new retail properties.
The office market remained unchanged from first quarter of 2013. Demand for part-floor leasing options, including separate utilities, services and parking facilities, remained buoyant. Also, demand for fitted office spaces continued to be strong. Furthermore, demand for high quality properties remained on an uptrend during the quarter. However, the current oversupply situation is expected to keep rental growth muted in the next quarter, he said.
The residential rental market improved in the second quarter after remaining stagnant in the first quarter this year. This was driven by an undersupply situation, mainly in Pearl Qatar and West Bay areas. Rental rates in Pearl Qatar rose 7 percent year-on-year. Similarly, demand for serviced apartments increased due to undersupply, and rise in exhibitions and conferences.
Overall, the GCC markets continued its uptrend in the second quarter this year. The UAE and Saudi remain the most buoyant markets in 2013. UAE’s real estate market remains on the path to recovery, with robust growth in rentals and sales prices across the markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Prices increased 12 percent year-on-year in Dubai’s residential market, while Abu Dhabi’s market saw prices rise 10 percent year-on-year.
In Saudi Arabia, the real estate market showed signs of growth across markets in the second quarter after posting a mixed performance in the first quarter this year.