Bando da 3miliardi di dollari in Qatar
In Qatar fervono i preparativi per i mondiali di calcio del 2022 ed oggi arriva la notizia di un budget da 3 miliardi di dollari stanziato per la costruzione di una nuova città proprio in vista dell’evento sportivo. Il bando è gestito da Lusail Real Estate Development Co. società di stato del Qatar che avrà il compito di sviluppare appunto la nuova città: Lusail City.
Si prevede che la città possa essere ultimata entro il 2019, e abbia la capacità di accogliere 200’000 residenti e il doppio in termini di visitatori. Sorgeranno isole artificiali, un quartiere dedicato all’intrattenimento, campo da golf e cinque stadi, uno dei quali ospiterà la finale dei Mondiali di Calcio del 2022.
Qatar to Award $3 Billion of Contracts for New World Cup City
Lusail Real Estate Development Co., the state-owned Qatari company building a new city in time for the 2022 soccer World Cup, plans to award about $3 billion worth of contracts for roads and infrastructure over the next year.
“Our strategy is to go for an open bid,” Chief Executive Officer Essa Mohammed Ali Kaldari said in an interview. “We would like to give an opportunity to many companies.”
Lusail City, which will have 200,000 residents and capacity to accommodate twice that many people, is scheduled to be completed by 2019, Kaldari said. The city will include manmade islands, an entertainment district, an office park for energy companies, a golf course and five stadiums. The World Cup final will be held in a venue north of the city, the CEO said.
The largest of the projects to be awarded in the next year will be for construction of the Al Khor Highway, running along Lusail City’s western border, Kaldari said. He didn’t provide details of other contracts to be given out.
Hochtief AG, Germany’s biggest construction company, started a joint venture with Lusail Real Estate in May to provide planning and construction services for the new city. The company plans to bid for other contracts.
“We are interested in infrastructure projects and building projects as well,” Hochtief spokesman Bernd Puetter said in a telephone interview. “We will be bidding.”
Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund acquired a 9.1 percent stake in Hochtief in December. The German company is building a commercial area for Qatari developer Barwa Real Estate Co.Spain’s Actividades de Construccion & Servisios SA said this month it controls 33.5 percent of Hochtief as it pursues a hostile takeover of the company.
Qatar will spend about $65 billion getting ready for the World Cup, awarded to the country in December, Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimates. The country plans to double the number of hotel and apartment rooms in the country, build a new rail network, construct nine World Cup stadiums and refurbish three existing ones. Plans to build Lusail City were included in plans shown in September to inspectors from FIFA, world soccer’s governing body.
“Before, people were beginning to come to us for building permits and concept design approval. Things were going in a normal manner,” Kaldari said. “Now it’s starting to speed up because people know that they need to deliver.”
Lusail City’s infrastructure will cost about $5 billion and will be finished by 2015, Kaldari said. About 75 percent of the city’s land has been sold to private developers, mostly from the Persian Gulf. The companies are required to complete their projects within four years of receiving the land, Kaldari said.
Mourjan Marinas is developing the Lusail marina, and Qatar Real Estate Development Co. plans to construct a 1 billion riyal ($275 million) mall.
Qatar, a country of 1.6 million, is using revenue from the world’s third-biggest gas reserves to invest in infrastructure, research centers and universities. The country’s government forecasts that its gross domestic product will grow 21 percent this year, after a 16 percent increase in 2010. The population may rise to 3 million by 2020, Kaldari said, citing government projections.
Lusail Real Estate is part of Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co., the development arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. Lusail city will be financed through Diar, Kaldari said.
Gli Affitti ad Abu Dhabi sono sotto pressione
Ad Abu Dhabi la crisi delle locazioni ha spinto i proprietari a rinunciare all’aumento dei prezzi del 5% come concesso dalle autorità, e piuttosto perseguono strada della prova gratuita di 3 mesi delle ville offerte in locazione, al fine di attirare clienti e riportare i livelli a quelli pre-2008.
L’anno scorso Abu Dhabi, che è una delle città più care al mondo, ha visto crollare del 30-40% le locazioni e ciò ha spinto i proprietari a rivedere radicalmente le loro scelte in tema di gestione degli affitti.
Abu Dhabi rents under pressure
Landlords abandon 5% rent rise and offer free trials
Recovering supply is pushing rents in Abu Dhabi further down and forcing landlords to unlock their property and abandon a government-approved five per cent annual rent increase.
Some of the owners have also started to offer a three-month free trial rent for their villas to entice customers following a sharp rise in such rents during the few years that preceded the 2008 global fiscal crisis.
Over the past one year, rents in Abu Dhabi that has been classified as one of the most expensive cities in the world tumbled by 30-45 per cent, a real estate agent was quoted Sunday as saying.
“This is forcing many landlords to abandon their policy of locking their property units to wait for rents to increase again…they have started to unlock them to meet their massive financial commitments towards banks which had funded their property,” said Hassan Hammadi, chairman of Alwaha Properties in Abu Dhabi.
“Some others have stopped imposing the five per cent rent increase in the contract although this increase is still officially in force,” he said, quoting by the Arabic language daily ‘Emarat Al Youm’.
He said low demand and a surge in supply have also forced some property owners to offer their villas free for two or three months on a trial basis and provide free cleaning services for tenants along with other incentives aimed at attracting customers.
Another real estate agent in the capital, with a population of around one million, said rents in Abu Dhabi city has declined by nearly 10 per cent since the start of this year.
Mahmoud Al Saeedi, owner of Dar Alahbab real estate firm, attributed the steady fall in rents to swelling supply and a surge in demand for apartments outside the capital following a sharp expansion in construction activities.
“The average rent value in Abu Dhabi is now around Dh100,000 compared with more than Dh170,000 in the previous period…this is a very big decline,” he said.
The paper quoted another property expert as saying he expected rents to slide further in summer.
“This is because of summer annual vacations by expatriates, a decline in demand for property after the rise in costs of education and health, and the end of work contracts by many workers, mainly those in the construction sector,” said Nassir Al Hammadi, owner of the Gulf Pearl real estate management company.
Crescono i Prezzi anche se la Crisi è presente e le Richieste calano
A Beirut il centro città è inavvicinabile a causa dei prezzi, molti sono gli appartamenti vuoti, e la gente si sposta verso le colline della periferia: i prezzi però non accennano a diminuire.
Gli immobili di lusso hanno visto triplicare i loro prezzi negli ultimi 3 anni e in generale dal 2005 il mercato è cresciuto in termini di costo del 25%. I prezzi non accennano a diminuire anche contro ogni evidenza. Nessuno acquista nuove case in città e aumenta il numero di immobili disponibili molto più che la domanda.
In Libano tutti, autorità, operatori e acquirenti, appaiono disorientati. Gli unici a tirar dritto sono i costruttori che non intendono attenuare le loro aspettative.
Beirut real estate boom slows but prices still too high for many
Figures show Beirut property values have increased by 25 percent each year since 2005
BEIRUT: For Rudy Karam, looking for an apartment in Beirut was a depressing exercise. The best deal the 32-year-old sales representative found was a decrepit one-bedroom flat renting for $1,000 in the trendy neighborhood of Gemmayzeh.
“The tiles were falling down, there was no hot water and the refrigerator was in the living room,” he says.
So Karam and his girlfriend … like many young couples who work in Beirut … chose to move to the hills above the city, where they found a brand new three-bedroom apartment at half the rent and double the size. Now they can afford a vehicle for the daily half-hour commute. “Even with the car payments and the rent, it’s still cheaper than living in Beirut,” Karam says.
As real-estate prices soar in the Lebanese capital, many young professionals and middle-income earners say they have been forced out of the city, with some complaining that rents rose by up to 30 percent last year.
Indeed despite war, conflicts and political crises, the price of homes in Lebanon has continued to rise exponentially over the last five years, reaching $9.5 billion worth of transactions during the 2010 fiscal year, according to the Finance Ministry. That’s no small figure for a country with a GDP of $39 billion while many industry insiders say real estate sales could be much higher because under-reporting to avoid taxes is so commonplace.
Land is scarce in Lebanon and local buyers face a crowded market, competing both with well-to-do expatriates who return for summers and wealthy Arabs from the Persian Gulf states seeking Mediterranean vacation homes.
In the luxury market, realtors say some properties have tripled in price over the last three years.
Maher Moukaddam, a real estate consultant with the Finance Ministry, throws his hands in the air. “Is it possible that an apartment was selling for $1 million in 2007 and now it’s $3 million?” he asks from a drab government conference room. “It’s not healthy. No one can buy a house in Beirut anymore.”
He claims many new apartments in the luxury sector remain vacant: “Right now I can show you 150 apartments downtown that are empty,” he says in reference to the rows of glass and steel condominiums that have recently been erected in the Solidere area.
Some say prices are too high, and recent statistics indicate that they may finally be leveling out after years of nonstop growth. But few think prices will actually come down.
“Developers are not keen on reducing their prices,” says Karim Makarem, director of Ramco Real Estate Advisers, based in Beirut. Although there is a natural need for new apartments, with some 15,000 additional Lebanese households created every year according to estimates, “supply is not meeting demand”
According to Makarem’s figures, Beirut property values have increased up to 25 percent per year on average since 2005, slowing only recently in 2010 to a growth rate of about 10 percent. Growth has also dampened according to the Finance Ministry, which published a 12.5 percent drop in overall real estate transactions for the last quarter of 2010 when compared to the same period the previous year. Still, 2010 as a whole saw a 10 percent increase on transactions in 2009.
The fourth quarter slowdown is blamed on investor fears over political instability as debate swirled late last year over the controversial indictments expected to be issued in the case of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s 2005 assassination.
“We are in period of instability,” says Marwan Barakat, head of research at Banque Audi. “I don’t foresee an increase in property prices for the time being. Prices will maintain in current levels.”
The stagnation is welcome news to Makarem: “I think what’s happening at the moment is healthy. No real estate market should be increasing more the five to ten percent per year – beyond that it becomes a little unsustainable.”
If developers expect to thrive in the current environment, they would be advised to economize the cost of construction, lower financial returns and offer smaller apartments, he says.
But others say the consistent hike in prices is not necessarily negative.
“I don’t think it’s healthy or unhealthy,” says Elie Harb, president of the American reality franchise Coldwell Banker, in Lebanon. “The market was so devalued 10 years ago,” he says from his corner office overlooking bustling Beirut. “It’s just catching up.”
Harb is not overly concerned by the slowdown in prices, claiming his business was barely affected by the collapse of Saad Hariri’s government last month. He runs his fingers along a chart showing the step-like growth of real estate transactions since 2001. There are no negative figures, only a plateau during the period covering Hariri’s 2005 assassination and the Lebanon-Israel war of 2006. All subsequent years register a steep rise despite the Nahr al-Bared conflict in 2007, the street fighting of 2008, and all the political crises in between.
Bank Audi’s Barkat agrees that declines are unlikely: “Prices in Lebanon are like stairs, they go up, then stabilize for a while and then go up again, they don’t fall.”
Hung on Harb’s office wall is a giant artist’s conception of a $100 million shopping mall project currently under way in the Beka Valley. None of its investors have considered pulling out, he says.
Even in the luxury segment, confidence among realtors remains high. “For us, it’s a good time to buy,” says Victor Najjarian, head of Care Group real estate consultants, which claims a portfolio of $2 billion worth of high-end properties. From the panoramic views at his sleek offices downtown, barely one empty plot is visible amid the fresh crop of high rises – evidence, he says, of strong demand and limited supply.
“We began buying properties the day the prime minister was chosen,” Najjarian says in reference the election of Najib Mikati two weeks ago, following violent street demonstrations.
When asked whether prices might be too high, he stresses that Lebanese banks hold deposits in excess of $100 billion while cash keeps pouring in from expatriates. “The town is rich, people can afford it.”
But with a per capita income of around $10,000, many average Lebanese struggling to find homes would beg to differ.
From his new home in the suburbs above Beirut, Rudy Karam believes more and more Lebanese are likely to follow his example and begin commuting to their jobs in the capital. “People are going to start moving back to their villages,” he says. “Normal people can’t afford Beirut.”