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The initiative follows a previous collaboration with Qatari artist Bouthayna Al Muftah whose prominent works include the official poster for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 to support the launch of the Global Investor Guide.
Alford Hughes, Qatar’s most exclusive network for international real estate invest and asset management has announced a special art initiative that aims to support Qatari artists.
This Summer will see the launch of Alford Hughes’s ‘Invest Internationally, Locally’ campaign where the company has collaborated with two local artists to create digital artistic interpretations of Qatari culture across famous landmarks from Alford Hughes’ key markets. The initiative will promote and support the local artists, providing them with a challenge and an outlet to exhibit their creativity and bolster their growth, while also showcasing the company’s property portfolio in key cities around the world.
Mohammed Al Baker, CEO of Alford Hughes commented on the initiative saying: “As an art investor myself and an active advocate for the local art community, I have taken great pride in sponsoring local artists through my private businesses. The assets that Alford Hughes promotes to its investor network are architecturally brilliant, financially enticing and situated in prime real estate markets that are famous for their cultural aesthetics”.
This ongoing support to local artists comes on back of the resounding success of a previous similar initiative in which the company collaborated with Qatari artist Bothayna al Muftah in the design and production of the Global Investor Guide which was gifted exclusively to 250 local investors.
Al Baker continued, “Alford Hughes is a unique premium service unlike anything else in Qatar Real Estate Industry, and I have found that partnering with local artists complements what we do brilliantly and provides a refined touch to our exclusive services and property portfolio”.
Since its inception, Alford Hughes has kept the welfare of Qatari investors and Qatari society at the top of its priorities. The company strives to create initiatives that will support local talent and drive development in the market whilst also making the troublesome process of investing overseas as a Qatari national as seamless as possible
Since its establishment in 2020, Alford Hughes has grown its asset portfolio offering to over 27 billion riyals across the world. The appetite for International Prime Real Estate has never been stronger in Doha and being an exclusive office to simply investing Internationally, Locally – Alford Hughes has positioned itself as the go-to company in Qatar.
With its historic Haussmann-style buildings, broad avenues, expansive parks and museums, Paris’s 16th arrondissement has long been home to the crème de la crème of French high society.
Paris’s version of New York’s Upper East Side or London’s Kensington, the arrondissement is steeped in quiet charm of long straight boulevards and its beautiful townhouses, each cut from massive blocks of stone, no more than five stories high and characterized by elegant wrought iron balconies, soaring ceilings and large windows. The most fashionable streets in the north are Foch Avenue, Georges Mandel Avenue and Henri-Martin Avenue.
Though the interest rates are rising slowly in France, it is not expected to impact the luxury market as much as the properties are usually bought in cash. International buyers, especially from the Middle East are back and showing interest in Paris. The demand is steady, and prices have remained at a high level and are expected to stabilize in 2022.
The ‘Elizabeth line,’ or ‘Lizzie line,’ as it has already been dubbed, is Europe’s largest building project and London’s largest infrastructure project in 20 years.
The new route will revitalize London transit, making commuting easier and will continue to provide an opportunity for property investors.
40 stations will provide direct links to formerly unconnected routes, reducing travel times and greatly alleviating congestion. The 100-kilometer project will connect London’s Docklands, City, and West End to Heathrow Airport, Berkshire, and Essex, and will include ten new stations.
Even though some regions have already seen tremendous growth because of the Elizabeth Line’s announcement, astute investors can still uncover value near the now better-connected stations. Although investors typically have the foresight to invest in future projects, owner occupier buyers and tenants have a more short-term perspective and need to see such projects up and running before committing to buy or rent, which is likely to drive growth in sales and rental prices in these areas in the coming years.
Hanwell in the London Borough of Ealing, which Alford Hughes has identified as being primed to benefit, will see the largest reduction in journey times along the new line, with services from Hanwell Station to Heathrow Airport taking 11 minutes, down from 40 minutes currently, and commuting to Bond Street taking 17 minutes, down from 45 minutes.
Qataris have always been drawn to the UK property market, both as investment opportunities and second residences, and is one of the top 20 countries in terms of individual property ownership in the United Kingdom.
According to an analysis by Alford Hughes Qatar, the number of properties owned by Qatari individuals in London climbed by nearly 50% between 2018 and 2021.
Qatari buyers primarily choose to invest in Prime Central London’s golden postcodes- Westminster being the most popular region, accounting for 21.5% of all London properties held by Qatari buyers. Westminster City Council, which stretches from the Thames in the south to Regent’s Park in the north, encompasses some of London’s most desirable neighbourhoods, including Mayfair, Marylebone, St James’s, Bayswater, Whitehall, and sections of Belgravia and Knightsbridge.
The borough of Wandsworth is the second most popular place, with 12.4%. The multi-billion-pound makeover of Nine Elms, which includes the rebuilding of the Battersea Power Station, the new US Embassy, and two new tube stations, has sparked enormous interest in the area.
In the recent years, it has become part of a broader trend among Qatari purchasers to expand their search outside typical central locales in search of places with both growth potential and easy access to important central London destinations. Between 2018 and 2021, the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham witnessed the biggest increase in Qatar ownership, with a 76.5 percent increase. Parts of Earls Court, Fulham, and Shepherd’s Bush have also been popular among Qatari purchasers lately, thanks to this trend and large-scale regeneration across West London.
The analysis, which represents the number of homes owned by Qatari individuals, does not take into consideration purchases made by companies. Purchasing properties through a limited company has become more popular in recent years, particularly among Qatari investors who see various advantages to doing so.
“Over the next 12 months, we expect purchase rates to rise as travel restrictions ease and Qatari purchasers see a buying opportunity.” Our local investor network is taking advantage of a central London market that appears to be undervalued compared to historical values and has shown growth in the last two quarters.” – Ryan Dougan, Lead Consultant – Investment Advisory, Alford Hughes Qatar.
Following the momentum set in motion by the first waves of the pandemic, 28 out of 30 cities are expected to experience price increase for prime residential properties in 2022. It is expected to show an average prime capital growth of 4.3%, the second highest in 5 years just behind 2021.
Low stock levels, the desire for bigger spaces ideal for permanent or long-term hybrid working conditions and relatively low interest rates resulting in affordable mortgages were some reasons behind the value increase in 2021. However, openness of the borders for cities that rely on international demand, and the market cooling measures, prevalent especially in Asia, could be the determining factors of the prime residential outlook in 2022.
Building on the 21% growth in 2021, Miami is forecasted to be the best performing US city, anticipating a growth of 10% due to Florida’s low-taxes, Miami’s competitive prices and the added the appeal of coastal living. New York, on the other hand, is expected to grow between 4 and 5.9%.
Forecast 2022 Growth
10% or higher
10% or higher
+8 to 9.9%
+8 to 9.9%
+6 to 7.9%
+6 to 7.9%
+4 to 5.9%
+4 to 5.9%
+4 to 5.9%
+4 to 5.9%
+4 to 5.9%
+4 to 5.9%
+4 to 5.9%
+4 to 5.9%
Prime Capital Growth Forecast of Top 15 Cities in 2022
Berlin is forecasted to the be the standout among the European cities and are expected to grow by at least 10% in 2022. New, prime developments are bringing quality stock to the market, supported by strong domestic and international purchaser demand.
Prime Central London is another standout, with growth of 8% forecast. Paris is the only European city where there is no growth forecast. Prices are expected to stabilize this year after several years of catch up.
Seoul may see the strongest growth of any Asian city in 2022 with an anticipated growth between 8 and 9.9% over the 12% recorded in 2021. A government scheme to curb speculative buying by imposing higher taxes on owners of multiple properties has pushed purchasers to spend more on individual homes and resulted in boosting the prime markets. Other strong performers expected in 2022 are Singapore (6% to 7.9%) and Sydney (4% to 5.9%), though growing at slower rates than in 2021, with additional lending restrictions for foreign buyers.
Over the last six weeks, a tenant’s market has become a landlord’s market in prime London as supply has fallen and demand has hit record highs.
Supply has been curtailed as would-be landlords have sold to capitalise on surging demand in the sales market and as staycation rules have been relaxed a number of investors have returned their properties to the short-term rental market.
In addition, the return of overseas students and the re-opening of offices has driven the demand side of the equation.
These factors have contributed to upward pressure on prices, with average rents in prime central London rising by 1.2% in the three months to August, the biggest such increase since July 2018. In prime outer London, the quarterly gain of 0.9% was the largest since June 2018.
As shown in the below chart, of the properties rented, the areas around London’s two main financial districts (the City and Canary Wharf) showed the greater activity with 28% of listings rented in August in comparison to 22.5% for Greater London, a figure that was at 13% at the start of the year for both groups. This divergence shows the clear trend that the re-opening of offices has been driving lettings activity.
Sydney leads in 2021 with the city expected to see growth of 10%.
Next year, Sydney is also expected to outperform and will share the top spot with London, both cities are expected to see an increase of 7% in 2022.
Miami is predicted to have the second-highest increase this year at 6%, with a further 4% in 2022.
New York should see prices rise by 4% this year, which would be its strongest performance since 2015, followed by a further 3% rise in 2022
What is driving the increase in values?
Government measures have helped protect economies, and cities are now on the rebound.
In addition, the pandemic has inspired many buyers to relocate or expand their holdings. Households accrued a total of over US$5 trillion globally in savings during lockdown, enabling some homeowners to undertake home improvements. Others have opted to relocate, upsize, downsize, or buy a second home/investment property.
The lack of supply in several key cities has been exacerbated as construction rates slowed due to lockdowns and social distancing, putting upward pressure on prices
What lies ahead?
The outlook for prime residential markets will be closely tied to the ease with which cross-border transactions can start to normalise, and whilst virtual viewings and improved technology have assisted in this area, the reality is the resumption of commercial air travel will be key.
New York City rental markets showed strong performance in June, driven in part by a flurry of luxury activity, an indication that as Covid-19 infection rates continue to dwindle, the city’s wealthy residents are returning in droves.
While prices were largely flat—Manhattan’s luxury rental market saw median prices decline by 2.9% year over year, according to Douglas Elliman’s June rental report
The Manhattan luxury rental market’s strength has been transformed during the pandemic era into one of the stronger segments.
Areas like the West Village in Manhattan, are particularly hot, with demand so high for some units that landlords are asking prospective renters to submit their best and final offers above the advertised rent price—akin to what would be expected in a competitive market for home buyers. Still, the median rental price in Manhattan is down 18.5% compared to a year ago, while Brooklyn is down 16.2% and Queens 13.1%.
Qatar Islamic Bank-UK has said since the emergence of the Pandemic, the London prime residential markets are exhibiting signs of successfully being able to cope with most of the COVID-related disruptions, supported by the stamp duty holiday in place since summer 2020.
According to data consultancy LonRes, the number of Prime Central London (PCL) transactions that took place in March 2021 is considered the highest since 2016.
The number of properties sold in the first five months of 2021
This sharp improvement in market sentiment can be partly attributed to the success of the UK’s vaccine program and the first signs of travel reopening. This optimism, though, is susceptible to any changes that might occur in the pandemic course.
In fact, the resilience of the Prime Central London and Prime Outer London (POL) markets is not just the result of the relative success of the fight against Covid, it is now clear that the markets did, indeed, enter Q2 with the benefit of a protective buffer of unsatisfied demand, as many had predicted it would. This buffer is expected to persist, if the latest reports from real estate agents describing clients’ eagerness to purchase, once international travel restrictions are relaxed, prove to be reliable.
Property Types & Locations in Demand
Overall, early lockdown enthusiasm for large family homes with good access to open areas such as parks, beaches and countryside, remains in demand. The market is also witnessing demand in East London as the prospect of return-to-work improves. There is an increased demand specifically in locations close to employment hubs in the capital city, like Docklands and Midtown, and specific SE/S Outer London locations, such as Clerkenwell, Shoreditch, and Victoria Park.
These locations also have the advantage of shorter average home-to-office commute times providing a better alternative for those who are keen on avoiding lengthy exposures in public places during any future potential virus breakouts or pandemics.