Apartment Rents in Sharjah, Northern Emirates Decline

DUBAI — Apartment rents in Sharjah fell 5 per cent while other Northern Emirates witnessed up to 26 per cent decline during the last quarter of 2009, a property services company 
Asteco said.

Compared to third quarter, the decline in rental rates in the final quarter of 2009 for Sharjah apartments have slowed considerably with a quarter-on-quarter change of minus five per cent, according to a report by Asteco. “Smaller units have shown signs of increased interest due to demand from young families and a lower price point. Villa developments currently under construction in the neighbouring emirates are likely to have a downward effect on rental rates once they are completed,” the report found.

There were also minimal changes in the last quarter for villa rents, with no change for three and four-bedroom villas although five-bedroom units decreased by just 4 per cent, implying that smaller units have stabilised, with minor decreases for larger units.

Fujairah was the least affected of the five Northern Emirates with an average fall of 10 per cent. Since the first quarter of 2009, rental rates in Umm Al Quwain declined by 15 per cent with rates in Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman and Sharjah decreasing by 17 per cent, 25 per cent and 26 per cent respectively, In Fujairah, studios are available for an average of Dh19,500 whereas one, two and three bedroom units cost Dh24,000, Dh30,000 and Dh45,000 per annum respectively - the same level as the previous quarter.

Sharjah remains the most expensive of the Northern Emirates with average rents of Dh21,000, Dh30,500, Dh39,000 and Dh50,500 for studios, one, two and three bedroom apartments respectively.For the same size properties, Ras Al Khaimah rental rates average Dh21,000, Dh28,000, Dh34,000 and Dh47,500 per annum; Ajman Dh20,000, Dh28,000, Dh32,500 and Dh47,000; with Umm Al Quwain the most affordable with average rental rates of Dh15,500, Dh20,500, Dh29,000 and Dh39,500.

Sharjah office rental rates have experienced an average decrease of 9 per cent from quarter three to quarter four 2009 which is in line with the drop in the previous quarter. Rental rates averaged Dh55 per square foot per annum in the last quarter. The highest rental rates were recorded for the Corniche area and Al Taawun Road at Dh70 per square foot per annum.

“Overall, the average percentage change for office space was minus 41 per cent since the beginning of 2009 and is expected to further decline until the economy recovers,” the report said. abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com

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