Doha property deals up 20% in 2012 - report

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Doha property sales volumes increased 20 percent in 2012, reaching 7,000 transactions, according to real estate services firm Asteco.

The value of property sales in Doha Municipality increased by 35 percent in comparison to the previous year. According to the Asteco 4Q2012 Qatar report, most of the sales were registered in non-freehold areas, where only Qatar and GCC nationals can buy land.

The total value of transactions for apartment blocks in non-freehold areas increased by 87 percent in Q4 compared with Q3, with the volume of transactions up by 42 percent during the same period, Asteco reported.

Villa transactions also increased by 44 percent in total value and by 2 percent in volume between Q3 and Q4, showing a higher average transaction value, according to the Qatar Ministry of Justice.

The construction of the Doha Metro could also represent a turning point in the local real estate market. “This is likely to increase confidence and stimulate demand in most property sectors,” said Asteco. 

The Pearl Viva Bahriya and Porto Arabia freehold areas are still the most expensive areas, priced at US$4,200 and US$3,700 per sqm, respectively. “Values of apartments on the Pearl-Qatar (freehold area) have increased marginally, but significant capital growth may be restricted in 2013 due to increased supply. However if the planned shopping facilities open and the national infrastructure projects boost population growth, areas such as Pearl-Qatar could witness a slight increase in demand,” said Jed Wolfe, managing director, Asteco Qatar.

Average leasing rates for a two-bedroom apartment varied from US$1,500 per month in Bin Omran and Al Maamoura up to US$2,700 per month in West Bay and US$3,500 per month in Pearl-Qatar.

The office market remains firm, with the strongest demand for fitted suites of less than 500 sqm in grade 'A' buildings, which registered slightly restricted supply.

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