THE END OF THE BLOCKADE AND ITS IMPACT ON THE QATARI REAL ESTATE MARKET


By: Kais Ouni

Real Estate Director
AQAR Real Estate Development & Investment

During the three and a half years of the blockade, the Qatar economy was declining, despite the generous supportive role played by the government for recovery. And as the real estate market is one of the major dynamic markets in Qatar, it was also affected by this blockade.

The Qatar real estate market had previously boomed for three glorious years (2013/2014/2015), fuelled by a construction boom and rapid population growth in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

However, in 2016 and 2017, the real estate market decelerated, and from that time, and with the beginning of the blockade (June 2017), the real estate market continued to battle, and in the early stages of 2020, with the Covid- 19 pandemic, Qatar’s economy was projected to decline even more, real estate market included, as the pandemic was aggravating the crisis in the country, and the world in general.

With the reopening of the Qatar-KSA-UAE borders, and quick solutions to restrict the spread of Covid-19 and the global rollout of vaccines (hopefully the end of the pandemic soon), and as per the speculations, property prices would now go up due to recent hopeful events, as well as due to the new laws launched by the Qatari government in 2019, in regards to foreign property ownership, which allows foreigners to own properties in Qatar and receive a permanent residency of 99 years.

The rules of these laws were loosened by the government in October 2020, by increasing the number of freehold zones, where non-Qataris can purchase real estate, and automatically granted permanent residency, in an effort to attract more foreign buyers and expatriates.

And once the change takes effect, it is anticipated that residential and property sales will receive an upgrade, with increases in Foreign Direct Investment

and new businesses from abroad coming into the country. These, consecutively, will be expected to create an extensive injection of liquidity to the real estate market. Moreover, by the end of the blockade, and as per the anticipations, GCC citizens will be very interested to buy a property in Qatar, not only to get the permanent residency, but also to have a permanent house in Qatar, especially for regular visitors and those who have families here.

Not only will purchasing properties rise, but residential and commercial rentals will also follow as well, because of easy procedures of entrance for GCC citizens to Qatar. So, the number of visitors will rise up and the rental in residential estate (short and medium term) will also increase due to the expected higher demand.

Although, any improvement towards the ending of the pandemic would actually develop the market faster than the recent ending of the blockade as the COVID-19 pandemic remains to be a key factor in the real estate market, and this improvement in the Qatar property market will not happen promptly, it is expected to be gradually and will take sometime.

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