Qatar has cemented its place as one of the leading emerging markets for property investors, with growth in the country’s real estate sector expected to continue on the back of strong economic fundamentals.
This week, Qatar was ranked second in Bloomberg Markets’ fourth annual ranking of the most-promising emerging markets in which to invest. The ranking is based on a range of measures of the investment environment, including economic growth forecasts and ease of doing business.
Qatar’s Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics has forecast that the country’s economy will expand 7.7 percent this year – its fastest growth since 2011. The recent drop in oil prices is expected to have little impact on the country’s finances as Qatar continues to diversify its economy from its traditional role as an oil and gas exporter.
The country’s recent economic success has been driven by huge growth in the services and construction sectors. In quarter three 2014, the construction sector expanded 18.5 percent year-on-year. At the same time, the financial, real estate and business services sectors also saw high growth of 13.7 percent year-on-year in Q3 2014. Real estate sector growth has been supported by fast population growth, which is pushing up demand for housing.
Global property portal Lamudi, which operates in 32 countries across the emerging markets, launched in Qatar in January. Lamudi’s Co-Founder, Kian Moini, said: “When we decide to enter a new market, one of the key things we look for is the strength of the property sector. Qatar’s vibrant real estate sector has never been so attractive to investors – there is strong demand for housing, property prices are rising, and it is relatively easy for foreigners to buy real estate.
As the country prepares to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, the real estate market will only go from strength to strength. All signs point to 2015 as the ideal time to invest in property in Qatar.”
Qatar’s population reached an all time high last year, rising 7.48 percent year-on-year to hit 2,187,326 in September. This rising population base is pushing up demand for housing, particularly in Doha. At the same time, the average household size is declining. In its Q2 2014 Real Estate Market Overview for Doha, Colliers International noted that the decline in household size is also driving up demand for more housing units in the city.
The strength of the real estate sector has been ensured by heavy investment in infrastructure and property development. Major infrastructure projects include the new metro in Doha and real estate developments such as Msheireb and Lusail City.