Sharjah’s property market has been under Dubai’s shadow for several years now – but is finally starting to stretch its wings.
The emirate has traditionally been an industrial hub, an ideal destination for labourers from across the world looking for a good-paying job. It is home to numerous industries, used car-part markets and various other fittings and fixtures businesses that serve residents of Sharjah, Dubai and Ajman alike.
It also offers some inexpensive housing options when compared to Dubai, where residential rents sometimes become too hot to handle.
Due to Sharjah’s proximity to Dubai, it is often preferred by mid- and low-income tenants who chose a longer commute time over the more expensive rents found in Dubai. Sharjah also has a three year rental cap, so tenants don’t have to fret over yearly rental hikes.
The Government of Sharjah recently unveiled a 100-year lease plan for property purchases by expats. But sales got off to a slow start as neighbouring emirates offer freehold properties with better infrastructure.
But new freehold projects like Al Saja’a Industrial Oasis have stepped up the game and are now open to investors other than Emirati or GCC nationals. This is likely to add value to the deal and investors are expected to head to the emirate in droves.
And the effects have already started to show. In a recent compilation of data, Bayut.com saw a 41% increase in search hits for properties in Sharjah in October 2015 compared with September. This shows that many more people were looking for real estate options in Sharjah than earlier. Compared with September, all commercial searches experienced an increase of 78% in October, while aggregate residential searches grew by 38%.
Similarly, searches for all rental properties in Sharjah grew 39% in October. Within this category, residential searches grew by 35%, while commercial searches experienced an increase of 79%. Further down in the residential category, searches for apartments returned an increase of 17% in October.
As Sharjah remains a hot area for tenants, Emiratis looking for stable rental returns have a strong appetite for investing there. Bayut’s data reported a 49% increase in search hits for properties up for sale in Sharjah. Among these, searches for residential units showed an increase of 50%, while commercial hits experienced a 72% growth.
The promising numbers provide a glimpse into the resurgent realty sector in Sharjah. Though the emirate has lacked superior infrastructure, authorities have begun focusing on improving the general conditions of the emirate and turning it into a real estate hub, following in Dubai’s footsteps.
Good days are in store for Sharjah, and the real estate sector has the most to gain in the years ahead.
Kainat Malik is Online Marketing Associate at Bayut.com