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Steep fall in real estate prices

Real estate prices have fallen by almost 50 percent in the suburbs of Doha, reviving hopes of a downslide in the rental market, property market operators said yesterday. The global financial crisis has put sudden brakes to the real estate boom in the country. While land prices have fallen by almost 30 percent in Doha city limits this month alone, the rates in the suburbs have been declining faster. Plots in some suburbs are now available for QR400 per square metre, down by almost half over just a month. Real estate investors expect a further slide in land prices in the days to come, said Abdul Wahab, a property agent. Rents have also begun falling as a consequence of the downturn in the real estate sector, said another property agency official, Mehmood Abdullah. “House rents have this month fallen by as much as 20 percent. A new apartment which was available for QR10,000 monthly rent, is now on offer for QR8,000,” he said. New residential buildings are being completed in large numbers in and around Doha, easing supplies. “But there are not many takers,” said Abdullah. This is putting pressure on property owners. “So if they have to ensure a property is rented out, they have to lower the rent,” Abdullah said. As for real estate prices, he said he was sure loan defaulters would be prompted to sell their landholdings after Eid Al Adha. “This would bring more pressure on pricing, so land prices are sure to come down further after the festive season,” added Abdullah. The Pen