Homeownership demand in Qatar, which had tens of thousands of vacant properties last year, has skyrocketed in recent months, with home buying requests rising 74% in the first three months of the year, according to Property Finder Qatar.
Ads for apartment and villa sales in the Gulf state also jumped 33% and 60%, respectively, indicating that supply is still not running out.
The surge in demand for real estate may have been fueled by falling prices, as well as the relaxation of rules on non-Qatari real estate ownership, Property Finder said in a statement.
Last October, it was announced that Qatar would increase the number of locations where foreigners can acquire real estate. Non-Qataris could own homes in a total of nine locations, down from just three previously.
âThere is a direct correlation and impact between the country’s new real estate property laws that were introduced late last year, as well as falling prices in high demand areas such as Al Erkyah City and West Bay, ânoted Property Finder.
Video: What is behind the surge in real estate demand in Qatar?
Qatar had built more homes before the pandemic in anticipation of huge demand during the 2022 FIFA World Cup season. However, the market slowed further at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, supply exceeding demand, leading to double-digit price drops.
Qatar was already facing an oversupply of 80,000 homes by mid-2020, according to ValuStrat, and is expected to receive an additional 7,250 units completed before the end of the year.
âQatar faces an oversupply of residential properties linked to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which it is hosting … [had been] down 26% since the start of 2016, âValuStrat said in a previous report.
Bigger houses are needed
Homeowners or potential buyers in Qatar are looking for properties with larger spaces.
Searches for villas increased 15% between the last quarter of 2020 and the first three months of 2021, Property Finder said.
âThe addition of areas allowing foreign real estate ownership has rejuvenated the market for villa sales, especially since the majority of stock in areas prior to these laws consisted mainly of apartments,â Hashim said.
(Written by Cleofe Maceda; edited by Seban Scaria)
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