Qatar entices foreign buyers amid oversupply in housing market

Government offering permanent — and semi-permanent — residency status to those who purchase pricey property

National Weekend Edition /
Oct.October 10, 2020 02:00 PM
Qatar is hoping to attract foreign buyers to its housing market,

Qatar is hoping to attract foreign buyers to its housing market,

Qatar is offering incentives to noncitizens and foreign investors amid an oversupply in the housing market that has sent prices falling.

The government, which limits the regions where non-Qataris can buy property, said it will expand that area in an effort to attract a wider buying pool, according to Bloomberg.

The country will also adopt a two-tier residency program to open up government benefits to some foreign property owners of luxury real estate. Those benefits were previously limited to Qataris citizens and longtime permanent residents.

Foreign buyers of a property valued above $1 million will be eligible for permanent residency, which comes with government benefits including health care and education. Foreign buyers of a property worth around $200,000 will be able to obtain semi-permanent residency without the need to be sponsored by an employer, Bloomberg reported.

Qatar is dealing with an oversupply of residential properties tied to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which it is hosting. The country had an excess of 80,000 homes at the end of the June and has another 7,250 properties set to hit the market by the end of the year, according to consulting firm ValuStrat. Property prices are down 26 percent since the beginning of 2016.

Officials in nearby United Arab Emirates are dealing with oversupply problems of their own. Last year, the capital city of Abu Dhabi opened property ownership to citizens of countries outside the Gulf Cooperation Council for the first time. Foreign buyers are also restricted to buying property in certain areas there. [Bloomberg] — Dennis Lynch


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