Nationals Snap Up Qatar Property

Real estate projects in Qatar are not yet seeing an interest from global investors, say industry experts.

Investor interest is starting to increase in Qatar’s property market albeit at a slow pace, according to experts.

“The market has been through a couple of years of downturn, but is starting to pick up – similar to Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” said Matthew Green, head of Research & Consultancy for CBRE Middle East.

“Off-plan property still remains too risky for most investors. Completed properties are likely to be more in demand and see more interest,” he said.

Recent reports issued by Asteco and property consultancy DTZ also confirmed that there was improved sales activity and greater enquiries from potential investors in Qatar’s real estate market.

“With prices having remained relatively flat for 12 months, and still at a significant discount to pricing levels at the height of the market in 2008, serious investors are once again reviewing their options with regard to residential property,” Jed Wolfe, managing director, Asteco Qatar, said in the report.

Most enquiries were from local investors seeking to purchase from distressed sellers, he added.

“A key factor for rising interest is the 60 per cent salary increase awarded to Qatari employees in the public sector, which has increased the number of prospective investors with access to funds,” said DTZ.

A recent survey by Barclays Wealth of global high net worth individuals (HNWIs) found that all the Qatari respondents had investments in real estate in the country, and all of them also believed that it would be a safe sector for investment over the next 12 months.

“There’s too much uncertainty in Europe at the moment, so most investors are going to be more local at this point,” said CBRE’s Green.

“But we would expect that as the market matures and things start to stabilise elsewhere, there will be a return of outside investors,” he said.

Earlier this year, the 20th annual survey of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) members found that global commercial real estate investors ranked Qatar 17th among emerging countries they would consider for investment.