DTZ: Smaller apartments in demand as more single people move to Qatar

Apartments in Al Sadd

Russell Bond / All Rights Reserved

Apartment buildings in Al Sadd

As the new school year kicks off and recent hires move to Qatar, demand for affordable housing has jumped, according to real estate firm DTZ Qatar.

The firm is reporting a 17 percent increase in overall inquiries in the last year, and a 23 percent increase from last month.

Inquiries have come primarily from the service and education sectors, with DTZ seeing high demand for both individual and bulk accommodation for teaching staff and assistants.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Peter Kovessy

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

However, finding enough of this type of housing has proved challenging, according to Edd Brookes, general manager of DTZ Qatar.

Speaking to Doha News, he said:

“Demand is increasing, but is yet to catch up with the existing supply in both the residential and commercial segments.”

On a positive note, he added that he didn’t foresee any immediate rent jumps.

Residential rents began falling in January for the first time in several years; a trend that continued into the second quarter of this year.

More single people

The areas that have seen the greatest demand for housing are Al Saad, Al Waab and around Education City.

The greatest demand has been for two-bedroom apartments that cost from QR9,000 to QR12,500 per month, followed by one-bedroom apartments.

In particular, people have been looking for furnished apartments, DTZ said.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Sam Agnew/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Explaining why smaller apartments are in greater demand, Brookes told Doha News that expats moving to Qatar at the moment tend to be younger and single.

Noting a change in the patterns of housing being offered by companies now, compared to previously, he said:

“Housing budgets have tended to cater for individuals as opposed to family packages, as was the case a few years ago.”

In the higher income brackets, Brookes told Doha News, there are cases of individuals who come over in advance, with the rest of the family joining later.

“In these cases, the family would normally join after six to nine months,” Brookes added.

Office rentals

As in the case of residential units, smaller offices – between 250 and 500 square meters – are currently in high demand.

Brookes said that interest in these offices appears to be coming from startups and smaller businesses, as well as those looking to set up satellite offices of international companies attached to specific projects.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The private sector had been the main driver of demand in the commercial real estate segment, as reported in the Q2 2016 Qatar Market Report.

With reduced demand from the oil and gas companies, DTZ said that falling rents for commercial spaces – especially in West Bay – would likely continue.

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