Issue No 348 - July 18, 2011

Sharjah apartment scene upbeat in Q2

Sharjah apartment rentals led the movement in the Northern Emirates’ property market over the second quarter of the year, with some areas increasing two per cent in rental prices over the previous quarter, said a report.

High vacancy rates have continued in Sharjah, which has led to attractive rental rates and intense competition between landlords, added the latest quarterly report from Asteco Property Management, a UAE-based leading real estate services firm.

“The Northern Emirates continues to see rental rates at constant levels from the previous quarter, with pockets of decreases for units with high supply levels,” said Elaine Jones, CEO, Asteco.

“While price stability and decreases were seen across the Northern Emirates as a whole, studios in Sharjah’s Al Khan and Corniche areas climbed by 2 per cent in Q2, with current rental rates ranging from Dh20,000 ($5,445) and Dh25,000 per annum. This is partly attributed to these areas being so close to the sea and Dubai” added Jones.

Another trend the Asteco report highlighted was the continuing shift to Dubai, with many tenants prepared to pay the extra premium to upgrade and move to properties closer to work and school locations.

Sharjah’s villa market continued to fall, with three and five-bedroom villas in the Al Khan, Shargan and Al Quz areas particularly affected. The report attributed this in part to the lower relative maintenance costs of apartments versus villas, said the report.

Average three-bedroom villa rental rates in Al Khan, Shargan and Al Quz were Dh77,500, Dh75,000 and 81,000 per annum respectively, with Al Khan prices down 3 per cent and Al Quz down 2 per cent over the quarter.

Sharjah’s office market saw prices continuing to increase, with Al Wahdah area seeing a 5 per cent price increase. Average rental rates ranged from Dh485 to Dh645 per sq m, with demand increasing over the last six months due to improved access to commercial buildings, according to the report.

Retail units continued to stabilise, with rents ranging from Dh755 to Dh1,075 per square metre on the Corniche, and Dh810 to Dh1,075 per square metre on the Al Taawun Road.

Among the smaller emirates, Ajman apartment leasing prices fell again, driven by low demand and strong supply, with average one-bedroom rates on Sheikh Hamid Road and Corniche Road each down 4 per cent. Movement is also being seen with some developers of ongoing projects approaching those whose developments have stalled and asking investors to transfer.

Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah all remained stable over the last three months, with no change in apartment rental prices in most areas, the report said.

In Fujairah, the report pointed to a potential change in the near future, as prospective tenants are awaiting the release of new rental rates as new buildings prepare to be connected to utilities.

Umm Al Quwain saw no change over the quarter, amid low levels of new development and little demand.

Ras Al Khaimah’s apartment leasing market stabilised over the quarter, though fresh demand for residential leasing is anticipated as the new Maritime City free zone has recently launched. Up to 5,000 new jobs are anticipated over the next 18-24 months, which should boost demand for apartments, the report said.

Source: TradeArabia News


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