Around 9,000 new apartments, most of them in the upcoming towers in and around West Bay, are likely to be available in Qatar by next year considerably easing supplies and house rentals, say property market sources.
They estimate that around 100 tower projects are either already under way or planned to be launched over the next few years despite the slowdown in the construction sector triggered by the global economic gloom.
Private and state-backed developers are busy building enough housing stock. “So, we expect supplies and rentals to ease between 20 and 25 percent after six months and beyond,” said Mohamed Sabih Bukhari, who is from the country’s building industry. The rents are already down by an average five to 10 percent, he added.
Although the demand for housing has been easing, all the new apartments which are likely to be available are expected to be occupied by next year, said P N Baburaj, who runs a real estate agency.
The slowdown in the rental market has, though, not positively impacted limited-income residents because the rents are still high, hovering at around QR7,000-QR8,000 levels. “These are the 2006 levels,” he said.
Increasing government spending on infrastructure projects and the ever-vibrant oil and gas sector, which is a major employer, will ensure that the demand for higher-end housing is stable, Baburaj hinted.
Construction activity is still going on in areas like Najma, Mansoura and Mamoura in the city, for instance, but new housing projects are not seen coming up, he said. “This means that it might not be as easy for someone looking for a new apartment next year to get one.”
The demand for housing has indeed slowed down as supplies have eased a bit but there are still enquiries. “Although, the situation is not like before when our office used to get a lot of phone calls enquiring if houses were available,” he said.
“Now, only serious tenants—those who are in immediate need of housing—are coming to us,” said Baburaj.
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