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Posted On: 5 April 2009 08:46 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Lower rents attract tenants to better houses

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With house rents easing, a lot of people are moving into apartment complexes which have modern amenities. The trend was in witness three to four years ago, when mostly Western expatriates preferred to move into apartment buildings with more amenities, but with the housing shortage increasing, the pattern changed. According to property market operators, the trend is back since the rental market is showing sure signs of a slump. Phase II of Beverly Hills Complex in Al Rayyan was, for example, booked by tenants as soon as it was ready, said P N Baburajan, from a real estate agency. And the booking for Phase III of the same project, which has a lot of amenities, has already begun even though the buildings are not yet ready for occupancy, Baburajan told this newspaper yesterday. Rents have come down by at least 25 percent, if not more, he insisted. There are not many enquiries for homes from newcomers to Qatar. People already living here are changing homes. “This we can say based on the kind of enquiries we get from customers,” said Baburajan. The situation now is such that tenants whose contracts are expiring are insisting on property owners lowering the rent to renew the deal. If the owner refuses, many tenants prefer to leave and move into low-rent apartments or complexes that have many amenities, even if the rents are a bit higher. The Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI), the representative body of the private sector, while admitting that the rental market was easing, said it preferred to describe the fall in rents as a “correction”. “We should not say that rents are falling. The rents were actually higher, so they are reverting to realistic levels,” said Abdul Aziz Al Emadi, Vice-Chairman of the chamber. In remarks to this newspaper, he said the rents of villas had been affected the most, but the situation as regards apartments was almost stable since there were still many takers for them. “The correction in the rental market is natural, so not much should be read into it,” suggested Al Emadi.