If your housing contract has come to an end or is nearing its expiry, it’s a good idea to start planning on where and how you’re going to move, especially under the current unusual circumstances.
There are plenty of factors to consider especially as far as safety and longevity goes. In these uncertain times, it’s likely you’re unsure of how long you’ll stay in the country.
You can visit sites like Qatar Living, Just Property and Property Finder Qatar for area-wide searches within a budget of your choice.
Property Finder Qatar’s country manager Afaf Hashim shares some important advice and handy tips for your upcoming move.
- Use the virtual viewings feature on the Property Finder website. With social distancing in full force, you can easily take a tour of the property you’re looking to rent without having to leave your house.
- Make sure you coordinate with your agent who will facilitate the actual viewing process for you with an authorisation from the owner, landlord or management company. Keep a safe distance when you do go to visit the house and ensure you are using gloves and masks at all times.
- When browsing, search by location, type and area, as well as other amenities and facilities. We also recommend adding key words in the search boxes, which will help generate the most relevant listings when it comes to the end users requirements.
- Have a list of requirements that you are looking for, ranked by importance. You might be able to skip an amenity or two, but for example, your specific location is a must. This will help you filter the units accordingly, helping you find what you need with ease.
How safe is it to move houses currently? What measures can you take?
As far as safety goes, the government has done an incredible job in keeping things under control during the current situation, while still keeping aspects of our daily lives intact. Of course, anyone who needs to move homes at this time should do their due diligence and ensure that the company they are dealing with for packing and moving is also taking safety measures, and that they are able to showcase and highlight that.
We also suggest that your new home is deep cleaned and sanitised before you make your move.
Is this a good time to move houses, or do you foresee a drop in rents in the coming months?
There have been price fluctuations recorded over the past two years, and landlords and owners have been more flexible with tenants in terms of offerings free months and utilities, for example.
People are also either upgrading their homes, or moving from a shared accommodation to a solo one, especially that prices have been more moderate over the past 24 months.
However, as this situation is something that is very unique, it is hard to project the price trends that we will see over the next six months. It might take some time for prices to stabilise again, but we are hopeful that they reach a plateau before the end of the year.
What kind of house and rental contracts do you recommend in this period?
I think that the most important point here is the rental agreement or contract, more so than the type of property itself. In these times, should you want to move or are looking for a new home, then it’s best to ensure that the contract has a termination clause, or that the landlord/owner will forgo a penalty should the contract be voided early. This is the best step you can take in order to keep yourself protected.
What do you see as the biggest setback or challenge in the housing market right now and what are the upcoming trends?
There are a number of things that we can improve in the market, the first being regulation. The market will improve drastically once it becomes regulated, especially when it comes to the sales sector. There are talks of a Real Estate Regulation Authority being set up, which is something that the market needs and is asking for, in order for both parties to be protected.
There is also an oversupply of units at the moment in Qatar, but this will phase out in the next few years, especially as the country inches closer to hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
One of the trends that we saw coming was the shift toward the market being geared to a buyer’s one – meaning more interest in sale units was being registered, especially in areas such as Lusail, West Bay, and The Pearl.