Qatar property demand skyrockets due to lower prices, relaxed ownership rules

Buyer interest up since easing of foreign property ownership in Gulf state

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Futuristic Skyscrapers and Office Buildings, Hotels at the famous corniche urban road and promenade in the capital city of Doha, Qatar, Middle East.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Futuristic Skyscrapers and Office Buildings, Hotels at the famous corniche urban road and promenade in the capital city of Doha, Qatar, Middle East.

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Demand for home ownership in Qatar, which had tens of thousands of properties vacant last year, has skyrocketed in recent months, with enquiries for buying residential units surging by 74 percent during the first three months of the year, according to Property Finder Qatar. 

Sales listings for apartments and villas in the Gulf state have also surged by 33 percent and 60 percent, respectively, indicating that supply is still not running out. 

The increase in demand for property may have been fuelled by lower prices, as well as the easing of rules on non-Qatari property ownership, Property Finder said in a statement.

Last October, it was announced that Qatar would increase the number of locations in which foreigners can acquire a property outright. Non-Qataris would be able to own homes in a total of nine locations, compared to just three before. 

“There is a direct correlation and impact of the country’s new property ownership laws which were introduced late last year, as well as lowered prices in high-demand areas such as Al Erkyah City and West Bay,” Property Finder noted. 

Video: What’s behind skyrocketing Qatar property demand?

Excess supply 

Qatar had built more homes prior to the pandemic in anticipation of huge demand during the 2022 FIFA Word Cup season. However, the market slowed down further during the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, as supply outstripped demand, leading to a double-digit decline in prices. 

According to ValuStrat, Qatar was already dealing with an excess supply of 80,000 homes in the middle of 2020 and was expected to receive an additional 7,250 completed units before the end of the year. 

“Qatar is dealing with an oversupply of residential properties tied to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which it is hosting… Prices [had been] down 26 percent since the beginning of 2016,” ValuStrat said in an earlier report. 

Bigger homes required 

Potential homeowners or buyers in Qatar are on the lookout for properties that offer bigger spaces. 

Searches for villas went up by 15 percent between the last quarter of 2020 and the first three months of 2021, Property Finder said. 

“The addition of areas that allow for foreign real estate ownership has rejuvenated the villa sales market, especially since the majority of stock in areas prior to these laws included mostly apartments,” said Hashim. 

 (Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 

Cleofe.maceda@refinitiv.com 

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© ZAWYA 2021


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