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| 14 November, 2017

Qatar real estate slump deepened in October, CPI data shows

A view shows Doha Office Tower (L) and HSBC Bank Tower (R) in Doha April 30,2012. Image for illustrative purpose.

A view shows Doha Office Tower (L) and HSBC Bank Tower (R) in Doha April 30,2012. Image for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous

The sanctions have contributed to the property market's slide by hurting investor sentiment.



DUBAI- A downturn in Qatar's real estate market deepened in October because of economic sanctions imposed by other Arab states, official consumer price data showed on Tuesday.

Housing and utility prices sank 5.4 percent from a year earlier last month, their biggest drop for at least several years, after falling 4.7 percent in September. They dropped 0.4 percent from the previous month in October.

Housing prices were already in a downtrend before June, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

The sanctions have contributed to the property market's slide by hurting investor sentiment, stifling demand for Qatari property among nationals from other Gulf states, and tightening liquidity in the banking system.

On Monday, credit rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded major Qatari real estate developer Ezdan Holding to junk status, saying the sanctions had worsened the country's operating environment. The company's share price has tumbled 47 percent this year.

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Overall, Qatari consumer prices rose 0.2 percent from a year ago in October, after falling 0.5 percent in September.

The return to positive inflation was partly due to food and beverage prices, which climbed 4.9 percent in October, their biggest increase in several years. The sanctions have fuelled food price inflation in Qatar by disrupting routes for its imports, forcing importers in some cases to arrange more expensive channels.

(Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Andrew Heavens) ((andrew.torchia@thomsonreuters.com; +9715 6681 7277; Reuters Messaging: andrew.torchia.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))