REAL ESTATE REVIEW RESIDENTIAL
QATAR’S BOOMING MARKET
ith one of the most stable economies not only in the Middle East, but also in the world, Qatar’s real estate sector has certainly contributed to this success. The property industry recently received a boost from a successful World Cup 2022 bid, with the government committing itself to many real estate and infrastructure projects that are either being planned, underway or completed.
Yet even prior to the announcement of the World Cup 2022, the country consistently posted one of the highest gross domestic products (GDP) in the world. In 2012, Forbes reported Qatar’s per capita earnings as the highest in the world, an important factor for investors who realise this will mean signiﬁcant continued infrastructure development. Qatar’s aspirations and plans to build public facilities, a railway network, educational, and health and sporting facilities, as well as accommodation
for the many expatriate workers, all scheduled for completion within a 10-year period, makes the country even more attractive for investors as there is extremely good growth potential in the next decade and beyond with the National Vision 2030. DOHA’S SUCCESS STORY According to recent reports, rental rates in both Qatar’s residential and ofﬁce markets have remained stable with minor changes from the fourth quarter of
INSIDE: QATAR’S MOST PREMiuM PROPERTy LiSTinGS!
AVERAGE APARTMEnTS SALES PRiCES (Q1 2012)
14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 Al Sadd
Najma 1 BR
percent and the lowest occupancy achieving 55 percent. In terms of sales, reports indicate that approximately 84 percent of units have been sold at The Pearl-Qatar.
are down by 20-30 percent since the 2008 market peak in some cases, and there is a strong argument that prices will increase over the medium term.
SECONDARY MARKET Regarding the secondary market – that is, where investors purchase a property to proﬁt from the resale market – the market has stabilised with some prices dropping across Qatar between 15 and 20 percent and even up to 30 percent in some areas. Local real estate experts agree that the sales that are taking place are mainly in the secondary market and most of those are where the seller is distressed. Those not under ﬁnancial strain or who would consider selling, would rather retain their assets in the present market as they perceive prices are a little too low. Certainly, it is very likely that investors will see capital appreciation over the next ﬁve years, as prices
SCARCE MORTGAGE FINANCING Several banks offer mortgages in Qatar, however in most cases, an application for a mortgage will be declined due to tougher lending criteria, largely because of the Qatari Central Bank’s conservative policies that cap real estate loans by commercial banks to 15 percent of customer deposits, or 150 percent of the bank’s capital and reserves – whichever is less – while maintaining a LTV of 65 percent for loans to developers and contractors. Moreover, conventional banks are not allowed to own investment property for leasing and trading purposes. Islamic banks on the other hand are allowed higher lending and ownership of investment property
AVERAGE APARTMEnTS SALES PRiCES (Q1 2012) 18,000 15,500
16,000 14,000 QAR/m2
2011. Understandably, The Pearl-Qatar remains the development of choice for many expatriates, thanks to the many attributes of its well thought out master plan. Those investigating the luxury end of the market would ﬁnd a compound villa or a stand-alone villa in the West Bay and Dafna area, or towers situated in the Diplomatic District. Indeed, while other developments in Doha offer mostly one type of style, The Pearl features a range of housing styles in one large community. This mixed-use development is situated on a 965-acre (400 hectares) manmade island and the ﬁrst residents moved into their homes in the fourth quarter of 2009. It is Qatar’s ﬁrst freehold development, situated on the eastern coast of Qatar near the West Bay Lagoon, and is categorised as the country’s most luxurious mixed-use development on reclaimed land with 40 kilometres of coastline. The Riviera-themed development has 66 high-rise residential towers with 12,000 residential units consisting of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments and townhouses in addition to three-, four-, ﬁve- and six-bedroom villas. The Pearl-Qatar will host three ﬁve-star hotels, two million square feet of retail space, entertainment and community facilities. Moreover, the project is the ﬁrst development in Qatar to operate on energy saving district cooling and waste management systems. The infrastructure of the development also means that the number and quality of amenities within walking distance for residents is unrivalled in Qatar. The many retail and food and beverage outlets catering to all manner of tastes, as well as the walkways between buildings, all promote safe and easy pedestrian ﬂow. Residents, it seems, agree, with occupancy levels reportedly averaging 68 percent across an example of six towers, with the highest occupancy reaching 92
West Bay/Dafna 2 BR
10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 Porto Arabia-Pearl Primary Market
Viva Bahriya-Pearl Secondary Market
AVERAGE RESiDEnTiAL LEASinG AnD SALES RATE (Q1 2008 TO Q1 2012) 20,000 18,000
QAR Per Month or Per SQM
16,000 14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 ‐ Q1 2008
1 bed (Apart)
2 Bed (Apart)
Q4 Q1 2009 2010 4 Bed (Villa)
Sales ‐ Primary
Sales ‐ Secondary
Q4 Q1 2011 2012
Qatar has aspirations to be a major international player, and politically and economically they are doing that. as the Shari’ah law requires most lending to remain asset backed, resulting in higher than average real estate and construction lending. TheEDGE has learned from local experts that, in Qatar, the Central Bank has put restrictions on borrowing for individuals, meaning the interested investor has to pay 30 percent equity or downpayment and receives only a 70 percent loan of the value of the property. Understandably, this has reduced the sales market signiﬁcantly as people don’t necessarily want to, or can’t afford to, put in 30 percent equity. Although one could argue that these were prudent measures at one time to slow soaring prices, market conditions are changing and less restrictive mortgage lending criteria would likely attract more foreign investors and absorb any oversupply. However, there continue to be local Qatari investors and long term expatriate residents who wish to add to their personal pension funds and residential portfolios, and will generally buy as an investment rather than for occupation, beneﬁtting from the cost of mortgage payments versus rental payments. INSUFFICIENT AFFORDABLE HOUSING While there has been a decrease in apartment prices, affordability remains a challenge for homeownership in Doha, given that most of the properties supplied may be beyond the ﬁnancial means of most of Qatar’s end users. According to the 2009 Labour Force Survey, 75 percent of non-Qatari workers work as plant and machine operators and assemblers, craft-related trade workers and in elementary occupations, and earn monthly wages ranging from QR2329 to QR3047. Eighty eight percent of Qatar’s expatriates live in shared accommodation, which are generally basic and situated within older properties in need of refurbishment. A signiﬁcant proportion of Doha’s rental units are unaffordable to the majority of these workers based on affordability criteria. Ofﬁce and industrial workers in the lower income
groups choose older properties, in need of refurbishment, located throughout the city and offering basic accommodation. Middle managers, meanwhile, tend to choose Doha ‘Old Town’ apartments and villas near the airport, due to their competitive pricing, and the Al Sadd area for its proximity to Al Sadd Street and Salwa Road, considered busy hubs offering shopping and restaurant choices. There is certainly a demand in the country for new affordable housing for professionals earning less than QR27,000 a month, and some developers have targeted this market. RESIDENTIAL SALES MARKET In Doha’s residential sales market, investors are seeking alternative investment opportunities to cash reserves, and the outlook for property as an asset class is positive due mainly to the stabilisation of prices in both rental and sales. Investors are now considering re-investing in residential property, although yields are likely to remain static in the short-term, but the mediumto long-term capital appreciation is promising. This ﬁrst quarter of 2012 has witnessed an increase in the volume of land sales at The PearlQatar in the freehold secondary market. Rental levels for the ofﬁce market remained stable during the ﬁrst quarter of the year, and a rental increase in this sector is not anticipated. Such an increase is likely next year, when both the global and regional context is likely to be viewed as positive. Qatar is considered the most stable economy in the Middle East with the International Monetary Fund forecasting the highest growth in the GCC. The government is on track prior to the World Cup 2022, to invest US$100 billion (QR364 billion) in infrastructure projects as part of the National Vision of 2030, and the announcement of the World Cup 2022 has simply accelerated the process.
West Bay Lagoon
AVERAGE ViLLA REnTAL RATES (Q1 2012)
* References, sources, images, and graphs provided by Asteco Qatar.
Engel & Völkers was founded in 1977 by Christian Völkers and Dirk Engel in Hamburg, Germany and has specialised in brokering high-end residential properties. The company is today one of the market-leaders in Europe and has firmly established its name as a brand in the market. The name Engel & Völkers stands first and foremost for professionalism and integrity, as well as trust and expertise.
Since 1977 Engel & Völkers has developed into a global system, operating in 36 countries on 5 continents with currently 3810 employees worldwide and more than 550 License partners, offering a superb network for business. As Engel & Völkers prides itself with selling and renting exclusive property with outstanding service, all our agents are trained in our in-house academy, contributing to the success of Engel & Völkers Since we opened in 2008, we always had prime properties exclusively with our company. We are proud that we earned the trust of another Qatari landlord to promote his property exclusively, the BILAL PEARL SUITES, located in Viva Bahriya on The Pearl Qatar. A really unique and prestigious property at The Pearl Qatar. Mirco Alexander Maurer Head of Real Estate
BILAL PEARL SUITES VIVA BAHRIYA, THE PEARL QATAR Beachfront location with access to the sandy beach The apartments and beachfront chalets are available in these sizes:
Studios One bedroom Two bedroom Three bedroom
All units are intelligently designed to create an experience that stands apart Custom-made furniture makes each unit functional and unique Swimming Pool, barbeque pits, gymnasium, café, business center, Jacuzzi, children’s playground, lush landscaped gardening, retail area, conference and catering facilities…
Available for rent from 1st of May!
BILAL PEARL SUITES Elegance & Quality at The Pearl Qatar
“ENGEL & VÖLKERS does not charge the tenant with any commission on this property”
Engel & Völkers Tel. +974 4443 4436 Fax +974 4443 4437
Email: Doha@engelvoelkers.com Web: www.engelvoelkers.com/qatar
“Exclusive Partner of AHB”
Luxury-inspired AL GAssAr resort redefines residential and hospitality landscape in Qatar with hotel-styled facilities and services
l Gassar Resort, Doha’s iconic luxury waterfront destination, is setting a new standard in the residential and hospitality sectors, adding momentum to ongoing efforts of boosting Qatar’s reputation as a premier global luxury destination. The luxury-inspired development has redefined the residential and hospitality landscape in Qatar, as residents and guests now have higher expectations from the wide range of properties and hospitality amenities being offered in the Qatar. Positioned directly on Doha’s pristine coastline, Al Gassar Resort is a key project that serves the rising demand for hotel-styled residential facilities and services in Qatar, while reinforcing Doha’s status as one of the most dynamic cities in the region. Al Gassar Resort offers a distinctly unique lifestyle with its luxurious services that aim to pamper and exceed expectations of each resident and guest. Equipped with a complete range of hotel-like facilities, it offers exclusive membership to bachelors, business executives and families who are looking to enjoy its promise of a genuinely luxurious waterfront lifestyle in Doha. Al Gassar Resort offers a choice of 422 beautifully furnished apartments along with rooftop penthouses and terraces, all equipped with top-of-the-line furnishing and appliances and balconies overlooking Doha’s West Bay and the Arabian Gulf. The waterfront community also includes The St. Regis Hotel Doha, providing direct access to the luxuries and world-class facilities of the high-end hotel.
Mr. Omar Alfardan, President, Al Gassar Resort, said: “It is our mission to redefine the residential and hospitality sector, reflecting Qatar’s growing reputation as a haven for luxury and excellence.
Al Gassar Resort therefore continues to provide unparalleled hospitality, residential, social and leisure amenities that ensure a truly luxurious living experience for all residents and guests. The 5-star hotel-experience and personalized services offered at Al Gassar Resort, set the standard in the residential and hospitality industry, making it Doha’s newest a landmark destination in Doha.” Owned by Resorts Development Company (RDC) and managed & developed by Alfardan Group, Al Gassar
Resort is a luxury-inspired waterfront community that offers residents and guests a wide range of value-added amenities, including 24/7 maintenance, VIP concierge services, laundry and dry cleaning, ample car parking and limousine services, advanced security, café lounge and restaurant, pharmacy and grocery shopping services, not to mention an on-call doctor available around the clock. It also enjoys close proximity to key business areas, exhibition spaces and world-class entertainment and leisure facilities, making Al Gassar Resort perfect for both business and pleasure.
Al Gassar Resort’s centerpiece, The St. Regis Doha hotel, is an ideal destination for business travelers as it offers more than 4,000 square meters of meeting and conference space to cater to all types of business functions and events. The St. Regis Hotel Doha, has been the hotel of choice for the world’s most discerning travelers with its selection of 336 luxury guest rooms, including 70 suites, with full butler service, and two Presidential Suites with two and three guest rooms, respectively.
Confidence. Trust. Success Asteco is the largest and most experienced property services consultancy in the middle east. Our Qatar office provides a full range of real estate related services which include;
Residential Property Sales
Owner Association Services (Strata)
International Property Sales & Investments
Since our establishment in 2007, Asteco Qatar has been providing real estate services to developers, financial institutions, property companies and private individuals. At Asteco Qatar we strive to deliver the highest standards and dedicate ourselves to achieving the very best results for our clients.
International Property Sales & Investment Desk â€“ NEW Our recently launched International Property Sales & Investment Desk is tailored specifically to assist expatriates and Qataris to invest in key global real estate markets. We have partnered with IP Global to offer investment grade assets, fully managed on your behalf and at affordable lot sizes, ideal for personal pension funds.
London, United Kingdom The Drapery
Manhattan, New York, USA 75 Wall St.
Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur The Richmond
We look forward to meeting you at City Scape, Doha
Available For Lease â€“ Viva Bahriyah-18, the Pearl-Qatar
1, 2 & 3 Bedrooms
Direct beach access
Poolside sun lounging & dining
24 hour Concierge
Sauna Swimming pool
Fitness centre & gymnasium
Jacuzzi & sauna
Laundry & cleaning services
Confidence. Trust. Success
The Key: Don’t dream, do. Don’t expect, exceed. Don’t settle for a house, pursue that perfect home. keep moving LS: is a new experience in the world of property. We believe in openness, friendliness and honesty. The fact that our expert team knows Qatar’s property market inside out doesn’t hurt either. This is not about signing contracts; this is about building relationships. Break out. Break free. Keep moving. As an established and reputed real estate agency, we offer services that suit the needs of any individual or business looking to buy, rent, sell or lease property within Qatar and the surrounding regions. Established in 2005 (originally as LifeStyle Homes & Properties) LS: has evolved to become a recognized, trustworthy real estate agent in Qatar, achieving significant success as evidenced by the sale of over QAR 1 Billion worth of real estate on the prestigious Pearl-Qatar. LS: is based on the ground floor of the iconic Tornado Tower in West Bay, Doha. Our bespoke and customer centric-office has been designed to welcome all visitors to sit in comfort and discuss any property needs. We feel that these important life decisions should be made from an armchair, not in front of a desk! LS: Keep moving. Along with the rapidly growing real estate sector in Qatar and the Middle East, we pride ourselves on our ability to adapt, learn and promote the appropriate and suited property to fit our clients’ needs. We do this, ‘because it’s right!’ LS: brings vast experience, specialised expertise and a passionate approach across 3 sectors: LS: RES In the Residential Property Sector, whether you are looking to move house, sell/ lease your current home or want to invest in the buoyant Qatar Property market, we know how to deliver the goods. LS: RES has a proven track record, selling and leasing over over QAR 1 Billion worth of real estate residential properties in Qatar and providing residential property solutions for homeseekers, investors, tenants and landlords alike. LS: COM In the Commercial and Retail Property sector, we cater to companies looking for the ideal office space or developers looking to sell or lease property. Whether you are looking for a small office space to start your business in Qatar, or have an entire office block to lease out; LS: COM has the know-how, the contacts and the approachability to ensure that your requirements are met. LS: PM This Division represents our Property Management team, offering our Landlords and Tenants the option of a dedicated Property Management Team to ensure that anyone accommodated with LS: will have a devoted port-of call for all enquiries pertaining to their housing, decoration and general happiness in their home. Our Property Managemnt Service allows you, the Landlord/Developer/Tenant to rest easy, knowing that your property is being managed by a professional team. We take the headache out of Property Purchase, Selling, Leasing or Renting and deliver total satisfaction to both the tenant and the owner.
LS: knows you. You’re searching for a feeling called home. And you won’t find it by playing it safe. Challenge your imagination. Place your faith in people who know what they’re doing. Don’t
+974 4491 3222 www.lskeepmoving.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
keep waiting for that ‘perfect moment’. That perfect moment is now. Keep moving.
Suites A1-A2 Tornado Tower, West Bay PO BOX :22508, Doha Qatar
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Published on May 12, 2012
The Edge is a business magazine targeting ambitious professionals operating within Qatar’s multi-sector business landscape. The Edge is read...