Demand slows decline in Sharjah rental costs

Apartment rents in Sharjah fell 5 per cent and residential rates in Abu Dhabi and Dubai show modest drop.

Apartment rents in Sharjah fell 5 per cent in the fourth quarter last year from the previous quarter, as improved demand slowed a price decline, the property services firm Asteco said yesterday. There were minimal changes for villa rents in the fourth quarter, the property services firm said. "Smaller units have shown signs of increased interest due to demand from young families and a lower price point," the report said.

"Villa developments currently under construction in the neighbouring emirates are likely to have a downward effect on rental rates once they are completed." Rents in Sharjah, the country's third-largest emirate, and the northern emirates of Ajman and Ras al Khaimah, fell 26 per cent, 25 per cent and 17 per cent, respectively, last year. Values in Umm al Qaiwain declined 15 per cent. Rents there remain the cheapest of the northern emirates, Asteco said, adding that values in Fujairah, another northern emirate, suffered the least with rents declining 10 per cent on average.

Residential rentals in Abu Dhabi fell marginally in the last quarter due to increased supply, Asteco said this month. Rental rates for apartments in Dubai eased 2 per cent from the third quarter and villas 1 per cent, with average declines of 24 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively, over the course of last year. Rents in Dubai were expected to fall 10 per cent this year, remain flat next year and rise 5 per cent in 2012, a Reuters poll showed this month.

Those in Abu Dhabi were expected to fall 15 per cent this year and a further 5 per cent next year, then rise 5 per cent in 2012. * Reuters