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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Sharjah villas show rest of property market a clean pair of heels

Demand likely to continue growing, report says

Demand for Shajah villas is likely to continue rising, thanks to their affordability relative to those in Dubai, according to Cluttons. The National
Demand for Shajah villas is likely to continue rising, thanks to their affordability relative to those in Dubai, according to Cluttons. The National

Villas in Sharjah have emerged as the standout performer in the emirate’s residential rental market in 2017, recording an 11.7 per cent rise in rents during the first six months of the year, according to international real estate consultancy, Cluttons.

Cluttons’ Sharjah Property Market Snapshot for Summer 2017 shows that following growth in the first and second quarters of this year, villa rents in Sharjah now stand at almost Dh112,000 per year. This year’s growth signals the first rise in villa rents since late 2015 and can be considered a reflection of the growing awareness of the cost advantage offered by villas in Sharjah when compared to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where average annual villa rates at the lower end of the price spectrum stand at roughly Dh140,000 to Dh150,000.

“Demand for villas in Sharjah is likely to continue rising, fuelled by the relative affordability of homes compared to those in Dubai, which in turn will remain a key catalyst behind the multitude of mixed use freehold projects bubbling through," said Suzanne Eveleigh, Cluttons’ head of Sharjah. "We are already seeing a number of new villa projects coming to market that provide quality, affordability and accessibility, including communities by Majid Al Futtaim, GIBCA and Faisal Holding. We expect to see continued demand for these developments as they reach completion.”

In contrast to the villa market, apartment rents in Sharjah maintained their downward trajectory, slipping by 7 per cent in the first half of 2017 after an 8.1 per cent decline in 2016.

Cluttons’ research shows that rents in Al Nahda, for instance, have lost the most ground when compared to the other markets the consultancy monitors, decreasing by 10.9 per cent between January and June 2017. Interestingly, however, in this submarket, the rate for one-bedroom flats has dropped by almost a fifth to stand at Dh38,000 per year, while three-bedroom apartments (Dh70,000 per annum), were the only apartment type to register any growth across the areas being monitored.

“Apartment rents are expected to continue softening over the next six months, likely mirroring declines in Dubai of 5 per cent to 7 per cent as landlords move to remain competitive. The decrease in prices has kept tenants interested and thus kept the number of enquiries for apartments at a sustained level, despite a number of companies downsizing their staff requirements”, added Ms Eveleigh.

In Sharjah’s office market, rents remain firm. Cluttons’ property market snapshot report shows that the resilience of office rents in Al Soor and the prime and fringe areas of Al Majaz has taken hold this year, with rents remaining unchanged during the first six months of 2017.

“The new resilience shown in Sharjah’s office rental market in 2017 is in direct contrast to last year, when office rents slipped by as much as 9.3 per cent in prime areas of Al Majaz to Dh68 per square foot, while Al Soor (Dh60 per sq ft) registered a slightly less severe correction of 7.7 per cent over the same period," said Faisal Durrani, the head of research at Cluttons.

“While we have previously highlighted the small size of Sharjah’s Grade A office market, this has kept it relatively well insulated from more macro issues compounding global growth, and there remains little in the way of new demand streams aside from the constant requirements from the public sector, which remains a key demand driver. In fact, the 2017/18 Government of Sharjah Budget aims to create 1,800 new jobs for Emiratis.”