‘Residential realty sector active despite Covid-19 restrictions’
The residential real estate sector is still active despite Covid-19 restrictions, according to Cushman and Wakefield Qatar (C&W).
“Despite the challenges faced due to Covid-19, residential leases continued to expire, with renewals and re-locations driving activity,” C&W said, adding some residential occupiers are using this time to take advantage of the recent fall in rents to upgrade their current accommodation.
While no official policy has been introduced on residential rent relief, some residential landlords have already started negotiating with tenants on deferring rental payments or granting temporary discounts, it said in its ‘Q1 (first quarter) Real Estate Market Review’.
Some landlords are extending temporary discounts of 20%-50% to be paid back later, while the others are using a rent-free incentive — one or two months — provided a renewed contract is signed/extended for up to two years.
Qatar has already announced an economic support package of QR75bn (10% of the gross domestic product) for the private sector to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
Interest rates were decreased twice by the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) in March to mirror the rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve, while QCB also pledged liquidity for the banking system to continue the credit flow.
A number of new towers were launched in Viva Bahriya in Q1, including Tower 13, which opened in January and Tower 15, which opened in March.
“It is likely that the planned release of other new towers in the second quarter will be delayed, given the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions,” C&W said, adding Abraj Bay Towers, part of Abraj Quartier, are expected to start leasing in June or July of this year.
Rental levels for new, premium quality, furnished apartments in Viva Bahriya are on average QR7,500 and QR11,000 per month for a studio and one-bedroom respectively.
The latest phase of residential apartments has been released in Msheireb Downtown with one-bedroom apartments being offered at QR8,500- QR10,500 per month, while two and three-bedroom apartments available to lease from QR13,500 per month.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) announced in Q1 that individual landlords or companies who own multiple, adjacent, fully furnished units within villa compounds, apartment blocks or mixed-use schemes would potentially be able to avail of a five-year lease with SC with a start date of either January 1, 2022, or August 1, 2021.
“This is likely to prove attractive to many landlords given the pipeline of new supply,” C&W said, adding the SC has set out strict requirements relating to quality and specification, which should help to improve overall standards when these properties return to the market after the World Cup.
By: Santhosh V. Perumal
Source: Gulf Times