Qatar’s real estate decline ‘much softer’ in H1 than same period last year: KPMG
September 14 2020 06:16 PM
Anurag Gupta
Anurag Gupta

The decline in Qatar’s real estate has been “much softer” in H1 than the decline witnessed over the same period in 2019, KPMG has said in a recent report.

KPMG recently released their Qatar Real Estate Rental Index Q1 2016 – Q2 2020, which tracks quarterly changes in the real estate rental market covering three core asset categories-KPMG Office Rental Index (K-ORI), KPMG Residential Rental Index (K-RRI) and KPMG Mall Rental Index (K-MRI).

Anurag Gupta, director and head (Strategy & Real Estate) at KPMG in Qatar said, “Qatar real estate market has not been impacted much in the first half of 2020, as the developers are still waiting to assess the overall impact of Covid-19, which we believe will be more visible in Q3, 2020.

“The same is also reflected in our rental indices across three asset classes, which have shown marginal falls. Interestingly, the decline has been much softer than the decline we witnessed over Q1 and Q2 2019. This also indicates that going forward, developers may be willing to accept lower occupancy and keep resisting the rental fall.”

The latest KPMG Qatar Real estate Rental Index showed that in the pre Covid -19 phase during Q1 2020, residential real estate’ affordable segment witnessed increased vacancy levels.

This was primarily due to the movement of tenants seeking affordable deals in the middle-income housing areas of Doha. However, since the outbreak of Covid-19, due to the restricted movement the leasing activity reduced drastically.

The impact of Covid-19 in the commercial market is going to be severe as it has allowed enough time to blossom ‘the work from home concept’, forcing corporates to re-think their office establishment and expansion plans. For developers, it’s a time to re-strategize their proposed marketing plan of existing and future commercial office properties.

Q1 and Q2 2020 witnessed a cumulative 1.56% drop in the rental index compared to 3.36% during the last two quarters of 2019.

While the same period (Q1 and Q2) during 2019 witnessed a decline in the rental index by 2.33%.

In Qatar’s retail market interestingly, after maintaining a stable outlook for almost a year, the best performing malls in Qatar with stable occupancy have started to experience the heat in the quarterly rentals and witnessed a drop of 4.21% over Q1 and Q2 2020. While the malls having occupancy of less than 80% including the upcoming malls experienced a marginal drop in the rentals by 1.52% during the initial two quarters of 2020.

On the future opportunities for real estate sector, Gupta concluded; “Managing assets and projects in an efficient manner and using real estate technology to improve productivity and containing cost would take the driving seat.”

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