Qatar property valuation to see fluctuations: expert

Property valuation in Qatar will not remain static as the country sees extensive real estate development, says Nicholas Maclean, managing director (ME) of CBRE, a global real estate advisory. “The valuation of a property in Qatar will be fundamentally different in five years from what it is today, as the country goes through massive development. If we value a property today, we don’t have the advantage of factoring the metro or other major infrastructure projects into it.

Valuation is not static. It varies and changes in accordance with the infrastructure around the valued property,” Maclean said in an interview with Gulf Times yesterday. “At CBRE we use our research skills to try and predict what the change in the value of a property will be, as we go forward. With the kind of development we see in Qatar, which is so fast-moving and extensive, we are going to see fluctuations in property value depending on where the development takes place in the city,” Maclean said. While investing, it is important to pick the place of investment and the type of the asset class, he said.Maclean said, “Property prices, globally, are cyclical. It does not matter, whether you have the property in Doha, New York or London- they all go through different price cycles. The long-term trend is that the property values are increasing. “If you look at a 20-year comparison with equities or bonds, then real estate is giving a very good return. But the investor has to be aware of the fact it is not a short-term issue. The wise investor knows that the short term values go up and down, but in the long-term, he will get good returns, provided he selects the right property. And the key to an investor’s portfolio is that he tracks the market and knows when to enter and exit.” Asked whether professional education in real estate valuation is important, Maclean said, “It is absolutely essential for a market like Qatar. A vast majority of people who are engaged in valuations here are foreigners. It is important we get Qataris into the system. And Qataris can go into some of the global universities that specialise in real estate valuation. “But in due course, given the importance of the local real estate market, it is important that we have a university education in Qatar that teaches the skills of a valuer.” Maclean also stressed on the need for a “governmental controlling point” in real estate valuation. “For a new market like Qatar, it is very important that the government takes interest in the skill set and qualifications of the people involved in the market place so that the standards are kept at the highest level,” Maclean said. In his remarks, QIB acting CEO Ahmad Meshari said accurate and transparent estate valuations are essential to the mortgage lending business as it promotes confidence in the banking sector as a whole and maintains the integrity of the collateral lenders.