Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Qatar's Housing Prices To Rise In Q3: Execs

Source : The Business Times, June 9, 2009

(DOHA) Qatar housing prices are expected to rise again from late 2009 and growth in the property market to continue due to infrastructure needs in the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, executives said earlier this month.

'We will see stability very soon, by the third quarter and the market will start climbing again,' Brian Meilleur, president of Al Waab City, a US$3.3 billion mixed-use property project, said on the sidelines of a construction conference here.

'Once we get this one done, we would like to look further into Qatar and look regionally as well.' Qatar house prices have fallen as much as 30 per cent in the last six months due to the global slowdown, but high demand for property will limit price weakness, real estate services company Jones Lang LaSalle said in May.

The economy could grow 7 per cent or more in real terms in 2009 as it boosts gas production, its economy and finance minister said.

At the end of March 2009, around 191 construction projects were under way in Qatar, with a total value of US$82.5 billion, Dubai-based research firm Proleads said in April.

Infrastructure projects, including roads and bridges, education and sports projects, are some areas that are likely to experience growth in Qatar over the coming years, said Yahya Jan, Dubai-based vice-president and design director for NORR Group, a Canadian engineering and architecture company.

'We are bidding for a number of very large projects in Qatar,' Mr Jan said. 'Whether oil is US$35 or US$135 a barrel, there will be tremendous revenue coming to the region because they are exporting energy.' Qatar, which is bidding to host the FIFA football World Cup in 2022 and currently hosts several sports tournaments, is spending billions of dollars on property projects.

The focus of real estate developers in Qatar and other Gulf Arab states should be more on the middle-income housing market, said Steven Miller, Dubai-based managing director of FXFOWLE, a US architecture company.

'Everybody in the region wants to be high income which is ridiculous. You can make money in middle income, but you can't make stupid money,' said Mr Miller, adding that the company is interested in education projects in Qatar. -- Reuters

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