Qatar freehold zones ‘to spur investments in real estate’
August 01 2019 11:07 PM
Edd Brookes, general manager, DTZ/Cushman & Wakefield (Qatar)
Edd Brookes, general manager, DTZ/Cushman & Wakefield (Qatar)

The expansion of “freehold zones” in Qatar from three to 10 facilitates increase in investment opportunities in the country’s real estate, researcher DTZ/Cushman & Wakefield has said in a report.

Among many findings, DTZ’s research team “identified an increase in investment opportunities as a result of the implementation of Law No16 of 2018, which was introduced in March 2019 and expanded the number of freehold zones from three to 10.”

In its H1, 2019 Qatar real estate market report, DTZ/Cushman & Wakefield said the zones will encourage non-Qatari real estate investments in Lusail, West Bay and Onaiza as foreign purchasers take advantage of the many premium products coming to the market.

DTZ has seen an increase in leasing inquiries and activity in the office sector in the second quarter (Q2) of 2019, largely from companies that operate under the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC). During the first half (H1) of 2019, DTZ recorded over 55,000sqm of office space inquiries.

“Business sentiment indices show confidence in the Qatar economy to be at a four year high, which will translate into an increased demand for quality office space - although the traditional office accommodation has to compete with managed workspace,” DTZ said.

Residential rents have “largely stabilised” following three years of decline, it said.

“The increasing affordability of apartments in Qatar has seen an increase in demand for apartments in prime locations such as The Pearl-Qatar and West Bay, while residential towers in Lusail have also recently come to the market,” DTZ said.

Occupancy rates in hotels have increased over the first half of the year compared with the corresponding period in 2018.

According to the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS), the overall occupancy rate in May this year was 66%, which was 6% higher than the 2017’s figure, despite the overall increase in the supply of room numbers.

On the findings of DTZ’s latest report, Edd Brookes, general manager, DTZ/Cushman & Wakefield (Qatar) stated: “Our findings in H1 demonstrate the robustness of the Qatar real estate market which continues to show stability when compared regionally. The very positive business sentiment is translating into an increase in office space inquiries, which in turn drives residential demand and retail markets.

“The efforts by Qatar Tourism Authority have significantly boosted visitor numbers year on year and rental levels have now reached an affordable level which we believe will stabilise from Q1, 2020.”

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