Rental rates in Sharjah up 33% in 2013

435Rents in all Northern Emirates rise in 2013 - Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah climb 23% and 18% respectively year-on-year

The residential leasing market in the Northern Emirates continues to follow the upward trend witnessed throughout 2013, which was particularly apparent in Sharjah, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) where apartment rental rates, year-on-year, increased by 33%, 23% and 18% respectively, according to a Northern Emirates Q4 2013 report from Asteco, the Middle East’s largest full service real estate company.

Apartment rental rates in Sharjah rose nearly 38% in popular areas such as Al Majaz, Al Qasimiah, Al Nahda and Al Wahda last year. Furthermore, rental rates throughout Sharjah increased, on average, by 8% in the last quarter alone. Sharjah’s popular Corniche is still one of the most desirable areas; a two-bedroom apartment there now rents for up to AED 70,000 per annum.

“Our research shows that the rental law that was created to protect tenants from steep annual rent increases, is being circumvented by some landlords asking for additional fees for maintenance and extra parking spaces, to compensate for the three-year rent freeze stipulated in the rent law,” said John Stevens, Managing Director Asteco.

Sharjah Holding is currently developing an integrated mixed-use community known as Al Zahia and will include a range of villas, apartments, and commercial units, which will be a valuable addition to supply. On the back of increased property prices in Dubai, it is expected that more Arab expatriates will either choose to occupy or invest in Al Zahia.

Elsewhere in the Northern Emirates, RAK, Ajman and Fujairah also witnessed fourth quarter growth of 6%, 6% and 5% respectively. The annual rent for a two-bedroom apartment in RAK is now up to AED 50,000 per annum, meanwhile the cost of a similar property in either Fujairah or Ajman is now up to AED 45,000 per annum.

The commercial sector in Sharjah has been relatively stagnant since 2010, with office rental rates showing an increase of 1% since Q4 2012, and rates unchanged in the final quarter of 2013.

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