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Posted On: 3 May 2009 09:20 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Plenty of houses, few takers

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As housing supplies now far exceed demand, a number of owners of newly-built apartment buildings are considering selling their properties, says a prominent member of Qatar’s trade and industry. “But there are hardly any takers since the real estate market here suffers severely in the aftermath of the global recession,” Abdul Hadi Al Shahwani told this newspaper. “Property prices have dropped substantially.” He said around 80 percent of the apartment buildings which began construction on a large scale following a worsening housing shortage a few years ago, are now ready for occupancy. “In addition to the adverse impact of the world financial crisis on the local property market, the fact that supplies currently remain high, there is a substantial drop in demand,” he said. Earlier, almost everyone was taking a bank loan to buy land and build an apartment structure for rental income to take advantage of the yawning housing shortage. Obviously, the real estate situation having worsened following recession, the trend has ended. Asked why real estate agencies had almost stopped taking entire apartment buildings on rent for subletting as they did earlier when the demand for housing was huge, Al Shahwani said: “Why should they? Many building owners are offering their properties for sale.” Land prices have come down by almost 60 percent, he said, attributing the slump to the cash crunch caused by the recession. “Liquidity is not easily available now.” According to Al Shahwani, house rentals are expected to drop further by September when the long summer break ends and people begin returning from vacations.