Fall In Retail Rental Price Signals Stable Outlook

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Joel Johnson | The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: The rents of marts across the country witnessed a subtle decrease during the first three months of the year, having returned to the same price range during the third quarter of 2023, noted market experts from Qatar's e-realty platform, hapondo.

However, the average asking rents climbed up during the fourth quarter of 2023 in many of Qatar's retail areas.

Researchers state that the majority of the retail shops noticed a decline from QR214 per sqm to QR 182 per sqm from January to March 2024. According to analysts, key commercial localities such as Al Sadd, witnessed a fall in the average rent for two consecutive quarters and amounted to QR157/sqm in Q1.

The Peninsula spoke to a number of shopkeepers to understand how the rental decline would impact the market.

Suhail Salim, a retail owner at Al Sadd said“It is a good opportunity for us to recover the retail sales with the decrease in the rent. I hope now the challenges we face in the market will resolve as we have continued to witness positive results in the second quarter.”

He remarked that the market will benefit positively in the months ahead, eventuating a stable outlook for shops and retailers.

On the other hand, the average asking rent of shops in Lusail city contracted by 2 percent to QR195 percent per sqm during the initial months of the year, while Umm Salal happened to fall by 9 percent from QR230 per sqm to QR209 per sqm QoQ.

Elucidating the profitable income acquired in Q1 2024, Namish Prasad said:“Our marts have experienced a vital boom with new products launched and the sales have gone fairly high. We are yet to collect the market data for the current year. However, it's been a good time of the year especially due to the declining rental rates.”

Prasad also highlighted that the rents can fluctuate in the next half of the year, depending on the global events or activities hosted by Qatar.

Meanwhile, Al Rayyan recorded a surge in the average asking rents during the past 6 to 9 months from QR205 per sqm in the third quarter of 2023 to QR228 per sqm in the first quarter of the current year, boosting optimism for resident demand in this locality.

Ahmad Al-Khanji, Chief Executive Officer of hapondo stresses that during the last three months of 2023, the average rents of retail spaces saw a spike across many areas in the country, primarily due to two reasons.

Pointing out the first issue, he explained that the landlords were confident in retail activities due to the hosting of major tournaments like the AFC Asian Cup. The shop listings in Qatar's capital city - Doha doubled in number during Q4 2023 and at higher prices, which showed that they were rented during the World Cup in 2022.

Al Khanji outlined that the retail owners“tempered their expectations” and the market witnessed adjustments for the average rent of available stock. He said that this fall in price is good news for tenants.

The second reason he emphasises is that the sector outside malls have a considerable amount of listed fitted space that enables businesses to save on“fit-out costs.

Amidst the downward trend in rental prices for outlets in Qatar, there were significant developments observed in the industry during the quarter, such as Velero Mall's launch late last year, which was a key highlight in Qatar's iconic and newly built Lusail city.


The Peninsula

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