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Apartment rents fall 14 percent
10-04-2010, 02:21 PM
Post: #1
Apartment rents fall 14 percent
By ERIKA WIDEN

DOHA: Apartment rents have fallen 14 percent in Qatar in a year since September 2009, but some expatriate-dominated localities like Najma have been resisting the trend.

It was only from the start of the current year that rents in Najma began showing some decline, figures released by Century 21 Real Estate Company suggest.

The figures show the rents fell barely three percent in Najma between January and August this year, while the decline has been 20 percent and more in areas such as Al Muntazah, Bin Mahmoud, Al Dafna and Bin Omran.

Aside from Najma, localities like Madinat Khalifa, where expatriate-driven demand for housing has been growing, have witnessed minimal easing of rents.

Rents in Madinat Khalifa fell seven percent between September 2009 and August this year. But from the beginning of the current year there has only been a three percent decline.

The Old Airport area, where expatriate-driven demand is arguably one of the highest, witnessed a 15 percent drop in house rents between September last year and August 2010.

But the fall in rents in this area has been a meagre one percent if one takes into account only the first eight months of the current year. In other words, the demand here is gradually picking up.

Al Mansoura, another locality where expatriates — mostly Asians — prefer to live, has witnessed a nine percent drop in rents since September last year. But the fall has been sharper (17 percent) in the first eight months of 2010.

As for villa rents, they have plummeted 15 percent on average in the period since September 2009. Suburbs like Aziziya, Al Gharrafa and Al Waab have witnessed the highest drop in villa rents, exceeding 20 percent.

Villas in suburbs like Muaither and Duhail, on the contrary, continue to be in demand with the decline in rents being less than five percent, figures released by Century 21 show.

According to observers, the situation as regards the real estate sector in the country is currently unstable amidst sliding land prices. “So predicting a trend for the rental market is difficult at the moment,” said an observer.

But he hoped the slide in land rates might trigger some demand, especially in the north as the arterial road from Doha running through north Doha is to be eventually linked to Manama once the Qatar-Bahrain causeway is ready.
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