NATURAL SELECTION IN THE REAL ESTATE MARKET OF QATAR

Ghofrane Jameleddine
Chief Executive Officer
Camelia Homes

As a major oil-exporting center worldwide, Qatar is an excellent place for real estate investments. The country is bound to attract interest from both locals and foreigners, thereby increasing investment values. There are indications that thousands of people from different parts of the world travel to Qatar every year to take advantage of its economic prospects. The truth is, Qatar has successfully boosted its tourism industry over the years, making it a source of attraction to foreigners.

The high net worth of nationals and expatriates has had an impact on the real estate industry of the country. This is so, because this group of people accounts for the increasing demand for high-end and well-organized residential areas. There are also shreds of evidence that the population growth rate of Qatar is bound to generate more demand for real estate in the long run.

During the past few months particularly, the Qatar government has passed and revised legislations aimed at protecting the rights of real estate investors in response to the developments within the industry. Many are still unable to cope whereas many others, involved in the real estate market, can see the importance of such focus made by the Government and how positive the effects will be.

Although the real estate industry of Qatar is considered to be booming, it was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that began in November 2019. Because of the pandemic, several projects were delayed. Besides, many people paused their plans of buying new homes or renting new properties because they were grounded and uncertain about their next moves. Nevertheless, by the first quarter of 2021, the supply of real estate properties started expanding, with construction of an estimated 1700 flats and villas in the country. Of course, this definitely affected the total housing stock of the country. Well, the worst phase of the pandemic is over and the Qatar real estate market is already witnessing tremendous improvements. Residential and commercial building projects have been delivered in strategic locations such as Lusail Marina, Fox Hills, Lusail Waterfront and other areas of the country.

It is worth noting that during the COVID-19 pandemic, several industries including the real estate industry of Qatar sought ways to operate remotely. One of the trends that were identified was for businesses to go digital, a solution that worked in favor of the real estate industry of Qatar. It became more important than usual for real estate companies; be it developers or brokerages, to increase the focus on the marketing material and technologies used, namely innovative tech tools and gadgets like drone videos, 3D tours, and virtual staging.

Most real estate companies who didn’t have business websites have now found a reason to create one. This is because professionally made websites with SEO content often rank higher on Google and other search engines, thereby attracting qualified leads. In addition, a functional, informative, and user-friendly website goes a long way to building trust amongst your potential clients. Not to mention how important it became for the real estate companies to make use of the most popular social media platforms. The thing about having social media presence is the fact that it boosts visibility to your potential customers and clients who otherwise wouldn’t know what your business is all about or how to reach you. That said,most real estate investors have resulted in creating exciting content for their social media pages using tools such as images, videos, and write-ups.

Another fact that is clear is that the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup ™ which is scheduled in Qatar is already affecting the real estate market. Because of visitors already securing accommodation for their stay in the country and the large number of residential units reserved for the event, Qatar is experiencing an increase in the demand for residential apartments and villas. One would say that of course, the aftermath of the World Cup ™ could also affect the real estate market as there are predictions of a temporal fall in the demand for residential units when visitors and contractors begin moving out of the country in large numbers, but I personally believe that it is a very wild guess! There are a lot of factors in the equation that could prove the opposite of such an assumption.

Competition is yet another factor that has enabled real estate investors and professionals to seek new trends to survive in the market. Although the real estate market of Qatar is known to be large, it used to be dominated by a few players. Therefore, nowadays, most real estate professionals have resulted to follow new trends and practices that can make them thrive or at least survive such a fast paced market. Those who are not able to cope with the present changes are naturally going to faint, leaving space for new ideologies, strategies and visions

Although several foreseen and unforeseen factors are potential risk factors to the real estate market of Qatar, the industry is still thriving, with speculations of an increase in foreign investors in the country’s real estate market in the coming years. This would be possible largely because the real estate professionals in Qatar are increasingly becoming more innovative and aware of how important it is to combine the new and old practices of the industry in order to stand out.

This article was published as part of the eighth edition of Property Finder Qatar’s Trends Report.