Khalifa Al Mueslemani
DOHA: A piece of real estate covering an area of just 2,167 square metres in the city has fetched its owner a record QR230m, with the rate per square metre being QR106,000 ($29,100) — arguably, the highest in the country so far.
The property in question is located in the Old Ghanem area, near Bank Street in the heart of Doha, and has a large number of apartments.
But, according to a real estate expert, the buyer would most likely demolish the buildings and use the land for his own project.
The price offered for the above property puts Doha in league with global metropolises like London, Geneva and Singapore, where real estate is third, fourth and fifth most expensive in the world after Monaco and Hong Kong.
A quick look at real estate prices at some of the above locations reveals that Monaco is the most expensive in the world, commanding a per square metre rate of $57,000 to $64,000.
With property rates ranging from $49,000 to $54,000 per square metre, Hong Kong’s real estate market is the second most expensive, followed by London ($42,000 to $46,000), Geneva ($29,000 to $32,000) and Singapore ($25,000 to $28,000).
No GCC or Middle Eastern city, including Dubai, Makkah and Abu Dhabi, find a place among the top 10.
Although real estate prices are not uniform, even in one area in Doha, the way prices are zooming the day shouldn’t be far when the city finds a place among the world’s top 10 cities where property is the most expensive.
“Yes, if the demand for land from cash-rich investors continues to grow at today’s pace and supplies remain as restricted, you can’t prevent steep price escalations,” said real estate expert Khalifa Al Mueslemani.
He said the Old Ghanem property deal of QR230m concluded last week (December 29, 2013 to January 2, 2014) should be considered one-off because there is hardly any land or property up for grabs in that area.
“It’s a prime locality and the property is located in a busy commercial area. In this area, buildings are allowed to have 11 stories, so that must also have been a factor in its high pricing,” Al Muslemani told this newspaper.
About the QR230m property sale in Old Ghanem, whose basic details were part of the real estate registration details for last week posted on the justice ministry’s website, he said the land could be used for hotel apartments or for a shopping complex.
“This is an area where properties meet most lucrative requirements investors look for. People have money to buy such real estate but there is a serious shortage,” he reiterated.
Al Muslemani said banks are also readily providing financing for real estate.