The October edition of Jones Lang LaSalle’s MENA House View says that tenants and occupiers have recogised that favourable market conditions provide them with opportunities to take advantage of the new, competitive nature of the market.
The main findings are as follows:
Tenant and occupier sentiment has now reached a tipping point and has improved noticeably in the region over the past six months. Tenants and occupiers have recognised that favourable market conditions provide them with opportunities to take advantage of the new, competitive nature of the market.
Improved tenant and occupier sentiment has been reflected by a ten-fold increase in the level of active and potential demand in Dubai over the past six months. Though improved sentiment has yet to result in a significant increase in signed leasing activity, Jones Lang LaSalle expects this to occur within the next 6 – 12 months.
Recovery in demand will be uneven rather than uniform, with clear “winners and losers” in an increasingly forward-looking market focussed on location and quality. Despite increasing vacancy rates, a shortage of such stock is likely to remain.
Proactive owners will recognise the need to cater more closely to tenant and occupier demands. The strategies likely to be recommended are rent free periods and other leasing incentives, along with the provision of longer leases for major anchor tenants and occupiers. Some of the more innovative landlords may also offer finance packages to assist with the initial capital expenditure required for fit-outs.
An improvement in demand is a necessary prerequisite to attract long term investors to commercial markets in the MENA region. Jones Lang LaSalle expects strengthening tenant and occupier demand to convert into increased investor demand later in 2010 - which is shaping up to be the ‘vintage year’ in the current real estate market cycle.
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