Report reveals declines of up to 11%, although studio and one-bedroom apartments saw little change

Qatar’s residential rental market continued to decrease in the first quarter of 2010, new research has found.

A report by real estate services firm Asteco said apartment rental rates at Lagoon Plaza and Al Sadd experienced the greatest declines, of up to 11%, while four and five-bedroom villas in Al Waab, and five-bedroom villas in Al Khraytiyat were also hit.

The report said: “Encouragingly, however, there were a number of residential locations and asset classes where the decrease in rental levels appear to have stabilised: Al Muntazah witnessed only a 1.5% decrease in the last three months, whilst the areas of Bin Mahmoud and Westbay Lagoon saw no further declines.”

Studio and one-bedroom apartments across the market saw minimal sale price movements and the research found “no noticeable price changes” in residential unit sales for both the primary and secondary sales market on Doha’s flagship residential scheme The Pearl Qatar. The office market continued to record decreases in rental rates.

The “Asteco Qatar Q1 2010” report says there was about 3.2m square metres of office space in Qatar, 50% of which is in Doha’s premier office location, the Diplomatic District.

Jed Wolfe, associate director, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Asteco, said: “As rental rates drop, activity in the leasing market continues with tenants looking for increased value for money and better locations. We are witnessing a ‘flight to quality’. Properties that are professionally managed, well maintained and in good locations continue to attract strong demand. Landlords will need to be vigilant as to the type of property they want to lease as more options become available in the market.”