Real Estate & Construction

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Real Estate

RESIDENTIAL Developments such as West Bay and The Pearl are helping to make Doha, and Qatar as a whole, an attractive and promising place for investors. The shortage in the […]

RESIDENTIAL

Developments such as West Bay and The Pearl are helping to make Doha, and Qatar as a whole, an attractive and promising place for investors. The shortage in the residential market has limited the growth in the country with vacancies rarely above zero. The growth in housing stock often fails to meet the growing demand. He housing shortage in 2014 currently stands at around 47,500 units, or at around 37%, and is expect to rise to 85% by 2018 according to Colliers. The problem of supply doesn’t look like there is much of an end in sight. While over the past four years, the capacity has grown from 97,555 units in 2010 to over 129,200 units by the end of 2014, the annual increase in supply is only 3% while the population is growing by 11% per annum. The highest demand is for one- and two-bedroom apartment, where two-bedroom apartments make up 44% of total capacity of apartments, while three-bedroom apartment make up 36% according to Colliers; however, demand for the later is limited meaning a shift in production is required to satisfy customer demand. One-bedroom apartments account for 15% of the total amount of apartments in Doha and four-bedroom apartments take up the remaining 6%.

Qatari nationals much prefer to live in villas (63%), while expatriates prefer apartments where 51% of them live. This divide could be explained by Qatar’s property laws, whereby expatriates can only own property in certain locations: The Pearl, West Bay Lagoon, Lusail, and Al Khor. Currently, of the total stock, 66% are apartments and 24% villas. Of those villas, 45% are owner-owned while only 5% of the apartments are owner-owned. The low ownership of apartments can be explained by expatriates renting from local citizens, due to the fact they are limited in their options to buy. Due to the undersupply in the rental market, prices have naturally been increasing. According to Collier, since 2008 the average price has increased by 7% per year, while between 2Q2013 and 2Q2014 the average price of an apartment went up by 14%. Places such as the Pearl have seen rental prices increase by 11% while the more affordable areas of Al Sadd and the Old Airport have experienced increases of 14% of over the same period.

The primary reason for the higher increase around Al Sadd and the Old Airport has been attributed to a number of new developments in the area that offer luxury, fully furnished units. Despite the Pearl’s popularity for luxury apartments, challenges are appearing when it comes to commuting to and from the CBD. This is currently being exacerbated by Metro works in the area; however, once they are complete will go some way to solving the problem.

The West Bay area and the Pearl are two of the most expensive neighborhoods in Doha. The average annual rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in the Pearl stood at $39,500, $51,000 for a two bedroom, and $62,215 for a three-bedroom apartment in 2014, while in the West Bay it stood at $34,600, $44,850, or $56,000 for a one-, two-, or three-bedroom apartment, respectively. To be able to afford an apartment in The Pearl, a resident must earn at least $9,600 per month, while in the West Bay a residence would need to earn at least $8,500 per month to be able to afford an apartment according to Colliers.

Two places that are somewhat more affordable are Al Sadd and the Old Airport. The average annual rental price around the Old Airport come in at $19,800 for a one bed-apartment, $24,700 for a two bedroom, and $29,700 for a three-bedroom apartment. In Al Sadd, a one-bedroom apartment rental price comes in at an average $20,600, a two-bedroom apartment $28,000 and a three-bedroom apartment costs $31,300. With these lower prices its means that they are more affordable with the minimum average income at between $4,950 and $7,700. When it comes to sale prices for houses, the average price per square meter has remained steady for the last four years at $3,700 in 2014, which represented a 6% growth on the year before at $3,500 according to Colliers.

OFFICE SPACE

The majority of office space is located within the city limits of Doha, with 58% of businesses and 45% of offices located in the city. The four main areas for commercial office space are in the West Bay, Grand Hamad Street, the C/D Ring Road, and areas in and around the city center. The most popular area is the West Bay for large local and international corporations as well as government organizations. Grand Hamad Street is largely occupied by the banking and financial sector, while the medium-sized corporations and private holding companies tend to opt for the C/D Ring Road and the city center. The West Bay has the highest concentration of Grade-A office space with an average size of 600 sqm or above, while the C/D Ring Road accommodates large amounts of both Grade-A and Grade-B offices with an average size of around 310 sqm.

The Old Airport and city center areas mainly comprises of Grade B and C office space of a smaller average size of 100 sqm. The highest occupancy rates are seen in Grade C office space, followed by Grade B. This is attributed to the lower rental prices. The lowest occupancy rate is in the West Bay area, which is because of the higher rental prices and the fact that many of the commercial spaces under construction are kept on hold. Around the Ring Road, due to moderate demand and high occupancy rates, new commercial developments have been launched with a new space of 58,871 sqm planned for the Ramada Intersection. Over the next three years, 125,000 sqm of commercial office space is underdeveloped and expected to come online. In the city center, a number of buildings are scheduled for demolition, which is likely to lead to a flurry of activity to develop the new areas that will open up. The highest average rental price in witnessed in the West Bay area where prices per sqm per month range from $49.40 to $68.66. Along the Ring Road and in Al Sadd, Salwa Road, and the city center, prices are lower at between $33 and $44 per month per sqm.

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