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Property prices in Doha climb by 35% in 2012

Property agents' survey shows volume of deals also increases by 20%

NEWS, Business

Residential property values in Doha increased by 35% in 2012, according to a new survey.

The number of properties sold also increased by 20%, according to property agents Asteco.

The firm said that the bulk of sales occurred in non-freehold areas where only Qatari and GCC nationals can buy land.

During the fourth quarter, the firm sald that the average value of villas sold jumped 44% although the number of deals climbed only marginally by 2%.

Meanwhile, the value of apartment blocks in non-freehold areas jumped by 87% during the quarter, due largely to a lack of deals in Q3.

The firm said that average prices of apartments were around QR: 13,500 ($3,700) per m2 at at Porto Arabia-Pearl, QR: 15,000 ($4,120) at Viva Bahriya-Pearl and QR: 12,500 ($3,430) at Lagoon Plaza.

Jed Wolfe, managing director of Asteco Qatar, said: "Values of apartments on the Pearl-Qatar (freehold area) have increased marginally, but significant capital growth may be restricted in 2013 due to increased supply.

"However if the planned shopping facilities open and the national infrastructure projects boost population growth, areas such as Pearl-Qatar could witness a slight increase in demand."

Residential rates remained stable, and in prime areas such as Pearl-Qatar witnessed a slight increase due to higher demand.

"However the increasing amount of supply coming to market will keep rates relatively unchanged and some landlords are foregoing increases at renewal to retain exiting tenants," added Wolfe.

Average rents for a two-bed apartment vary from QR: 5,750 ($1,579) per month in Bin Omran to QR: 13,000 ($3,570) at Pearl-Qatar.

Meanwhile, Asteco said office rents remained static during 2012. It argued that there is an existing oversupply of property in the market, and said that with more stock due to come onto the market in 2013 rents will be under pressure as tenants seek value.

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