A move in the right direction: Sharjah to offer more affordable housing
The project in Sharjah is due for completion in the second quarter of 2016 and will include 504 apartments, an office high-rise and a mall. (AFP/File)
“The first apartments available on a 100-year leasehold basis for all nationalities were announced in February at the Al Rayyan mixed-use development located in the Al Nahda area, close to the Dubai border,” says an Asteco report on trends in the northern emirates’ realty market in the first three months. The project, due for completion in the second quarter of 2016, includes 504 apartments, an office high-rise and a mall. A two-bedroom apartment was launched at around the Dh1 million.
According to the report, “Since the introduction of Sharjah’s ownership law (which offers rights to expatriates as well), there has been healthy level of interest. However, the price point has proven very sensitive and the critical factor in whether transactions are completed or not.”
For instance, at Tilal City — which offered plots for development in the fourth quarter of 2014 — “attracted considerable interest from both developers and end-users seeking to build their own villas despite being located relatively far inland,” the report adds. “Villa plots have nearly sold out as prices started from as low as Dh30 per square foot.” (Elsewhere in the northern emirates, the villas at the Mina Al Arab and Al Hamra developments in Ras Al Khaimah remain popular with expatriate buyers.) In the rental market, there is a marked demand for apartments in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, helped on by “local economic activity from the ports and free zones, which has led to a constant development of new properties”, especially for properties deemed affordable, Asteco’s report says.” In comparison, Sharjah and Ajman have seen a reduction in demand as rental rates in Dubai have stabilised.”
“Lease transactions slowed due to the decrease in the number of tenant migrations from Dubai.”
In Sharjah, the popular rental areas such as Corniche, Al Nahda, Majaz and Abu Shagara continue to enjoy high occupancy levels, and more so in the better quality buildings.
In Fujairah, meanwhile, new apartments in the Shariya area are “proving popular”, as well as “representing an improvement on existing supply”.
However, the most upscale development in Fujairah — Al Jaber Towers — has a “low vacancy rate”, the report adds.
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