Qatar rents ‘fall by 10-20%’ in prime areas

Summer lull and ‘expat exodus’ to blame for decline, while rents hold up in more affordable areas – report

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A combination of oversupply and low demand has led to rental declines of between 10 and 20% in Qatar’s high-end residential property market, a Doha-based daily said.

While villas and flats in the middle segment have also become cheaper, affordable housing units, including those offered in partitioned villas, have not seen a significant fall in rents due to stable demand, according to a report in The Peninsula, quoting industry sources.

The daily attributed the decline in rents to the seasonal lull in the market during summer, coupled with the exit of several expatriate professionals from the country, who have lost their jobs in recent months. Many expatriate families have also left the country recently, the report added.

“There is a decline in rents in the residential sector by 10 to 20%. Currently about 9,000 housing units are vacant, awaiting customers. There is oversupply in the market and demand is low,” Qatari real estate expert Khalifa Al Maslamani told the paper.

A villa that was earlier rented out at QR15,000 ($4120) a month is available now at QR11,000, he was quoted as saying. However, affordable housing units, falling in the QR3,500-QR4,000 range, have not seen any noticeable decline in rents, Al Maslamani added.

Despite an ongoing crackdown on partitioned villas, such facilities exist in the market and are in high demand as they cater to the low- and middle-income segments, including single workers, the report said.

With the current supply-demand equation, it is difficult for landlords to impose a further hike in rents in new tenancy contracts, Al Maslamani added.

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