(MENAFN- The Peninsula) By Satish Kanady | The Peninsula
DOHA: After almost a decade of runaway prices, Qatar's real estate market is turning a corner. The shift is bringing in a new investment theme to the market -affordable luxury. The prices have moved to a point that the luxury units have become very affordable, believes Just Real Estate (JRE) CEO Nasser H. Al Ansari.
Qatar's real estate market is still dynamic, but the speculative businesses used to thrive in the market for the past ten years are no longer going to stay here.The prices have moved to a point that even the luxury units became very affordable. Easy availability of lands, a series of government decisions to support the industry and a steep fall in construction costs; allhave helped strike a realistic chord with Qatar's real estate industry, he told The Peninsula in an interview.
'The character of the market has changed. If you think, you can lease and rents units the same way you used to do five years ago when the market was short of supply.... it's not going to be there anymore. If you think you can buy a land for a million riyal and can flip it for 10 million riyal.. I bet, that's not going to work anymore in the market.But,the market is still dynamic and there are many areas where investments are still attractive, Al Ansari said.
Though affordable luxury is still a niche market in Qatar's real estate industry, it is fast expanding its base in Qatar. An affordable luxury home has all the attributes of a premium property, but is affordable to larger segment of population.
JRE sees a radical shift in the consumer behaviour in local market as well. With prices coming down more and more families are showing a tendency to join fresh units. This is creating a momentum in the market.
JRE, the developers of over nearly a dozen iconic projects in Qatar and an equal number of properties in international market, is now looking to further reinforce its presence in London and Turkey. While there is a general post-Brexit slump in market sentiment towards the UK, JRE continues to see value in real estate across the UK, especially in London.
There is growing appetite for Qataris in the London property market. The investors see attractive returns even in this risk-off climate, says Al Ansari.
The beauty of the London market is that the way the City of London con trolls the supply and demand and the way they approve projects. Investment in certain areas will ensure that your properties are appreciated at least from 1.5 to 2 percent annually. The steep fall in sterling is additional attraction for Qatari investors.
There is a growing appetite for Qataris in the London property market. Qataris are now increasingly investing in London and Turkey. There are lots of entrepreneurial Qataris who are now investing in Georgia and Bosnia and exploring new markets in Europe, he said. Al Ansari believes it is time to take the JRE to next level and the company is in the process of setting up a huge real estate fund.The idea is to set up the fund in association with an investment bank. He said JRE is still studying on the size of the fund. 'The idea is to raise the fund from domestic market, he said.
Armed with a degree in civil engineering from the University of Miami, and an MBA from the esteemed HEC Paris, Al Ansari is a strong believer in Qatar's ongoing economic diversification programme. As visionary property development leader, Al Ansari played critical role in the management of Qatar's several prestigious projects, including Doha International Airport, Doha Port, Lusail City project and the iconic West Bay Lagoon project.
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