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Posted On: 14 April 2009 10:52 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Unlicenced realty brokers are back

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Unlicenced real estate brokers have once again become active in the market with the availability of more properties for rent. These agents are catering to the low and middle income families and single workers by offering “shared accommodations” at relatively low rents. Rentals for high-end houses have fallen lately, but they are still out of the reach of a number of middle income families, who end up with hiring part of partitioned villa or sharing a house with another family. A number of unauthorised brokers continue to cash in on the high demand for medium range houses, which are still short in supply. “These middlemen are in a way reducing the pressure on the market by making more houses available to customers. However, they tend to keep the rents of the shared properties much higher than their original price for personal gains,” said an executive working with a leading real estate company. While an independent two-bed room flat still cost anywhere between QR6,000 to QR7,000, a shared accommodation with the same number of rooms is available at QR4,000 or QR4,500. A one-bed room facility, with hall, kitchen and toilet, that comes as part of a shared villa or flat is priced between QR3,000 to QR3,500 while the same would cost about 50 percent more in a newly constructed apartment complex. Industry sources say that many of the illegal brokers had vanished from the market with a severe shortage of properties. They have now come back with more strength as more villas and flats have now been made available for rent across the country. “With a sizeable fall in the rents, people are now moving to cheaper or better accommodations, leaving more properties vacant,” said an agent. The sources say that the real estate market is expected to stabilise by the end of the summer holidays. “There is talk about families leaving the country, but still it is not clear how many would be actually leaving. There are no signs of an exodus so far. New families are still coming to the country. A clear picture will be available by the end of the summer holidays,” said the agent.