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|17 February, 2018

Tenants rejoice: Some areas of Sharjah witness steep rental decline

Bu Tina experiences largest decrease at 44% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Sharjah embankment in the afternoon, UAE.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Sharjah embankment in the afternoon, UAE.

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Availability of supply and competitive rents in Dubai led to a widespread decline in apartment rents in Sharjah in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Dubizzle Property.

Bu Tina experienced the biggest drop in rents (17 per cent), followed by Al Nabba (10 per cent), Al Nahda, Al Qasimia and Al Ghuwair (nine per cent).

Three-bedroom apartments for rent in Bu Tina experienced the largest decrease in rents by -44 per cent, said Dubizzle Property. They could be rented for Dh27,000 in the fourth quarter compared to Dh48,000 in the same period in 2016. This may be because of older buildings in the area.

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Other areas that registered smaller rent declines in the quarter were Al Khan (seven per cent), Al Qasba (six per cent), Abu Shagara (six per cent), Muwaileh (five per cent) and Al Majaz (four per cent), added Dubizzle Property.

According to real estate consultancy Cluttons, apartment rents in Sharjah registered a steep decline of 13.6 per cent in the last quarter of 2017, compared to a decline of 10.6 per cent in 2016. Cluttons estimated that Abu Shagara topped the list of weakest performers, with used car showroom dealerships vacating the area. Sharjah's residential rental market is set to face pressures from rising stock. However, many landlords are reluctant to adjust advertised rents downwards.

"But, with tenants increasingly seeking out new buildings, reflecting financial pressures stemming from the levy of VAT, rising utility bills and rising inflation levels, we feel landlords will need to be flexible with rents and payment plans, particularly in older buildings, to sustain demand," said Suzanne Eveleigh, Cluttons' head of Sharjah.

A few landlords are, however, waiving deposit requirements and offering rent-free periods, increased number of payments (up to 12 cheques) and rent adjustments. Meanwhile, Al Mamzar witnessed the largest increase in sale price per sqft by 14 per cent, now standing at Dh591, followed by Al Khan with a six per cent increase with prices averaging at Dh550 per sqft. These were the only areas that experienced an increase in price per sqft in Sharjah, with other coastal areas experiencing a decrease in sale price, including Al Majaz (four per cent) and Al Qasba (15 per cent), estimates Dubizzle Property.

"The Northern Emirates are still deemed as the most affordable cities in the UAE, where fluctuations in sale prices are a result of several factors, including a change in the law in 2014 that allows non-Arab expatriates to purchase property in Sharjah," said Ann Boothello, property expert at Dubizzle Property.

Ajman

Rents in Ajman showed similar trends to Sharjah, with an average decrease across key areas. Al Rawada 2 experienced the biggest decline (12 per cent), followed by Al Rawada 1 and Ajman Industrial Area (11 per cent), and Emirates City and Al Helio (10 per cent).

The largest decrease in rents was seen for a two-bedroom in Al Rawada 1 (-33 per cent). A unit that fetched Dh39,000 in the fourth quarter was available for Dh26,000 in the same period in 2017.

Many areas experienced an increase in sales price per sqft. Helio recorded an increase in sale prices per sqft (11 per cent), followed by Al Rumailah (five per cent) and Al Rashidya (three per cent).

Ajman industrial area experienced the largest drop in sale price per sqft by 22 per cent, standing at Dh367, followed by Al Jurf (19 per cent) and Mushairef (17 per cent).

The most affordable area to purchase a property in Ajman is Emirates City, with property prices averaging at Dh262 per sqft.

The most popular areas for apartments for both sale and rent were Al Rashidya, Al Rumailah, Mushairef and Emirates City.

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