Jeddah residential property sector may be poised for rebound: report

Affordability issues and inadequate access to financing weighed on the demand for Jeddah residential properties. (AFP)
Updated 10 April 2019
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Jeddah residential property sector may be poised for rebound: report

  • ‘The rate of decline appears to have slowed down over the quarter, indicating the market may be headed towards the bottom of its cycle’
  • Affordability issues and inadequate access to financing weighed on the demand for Jeddah residential properties

DUBAI: The residential property segment in Jeddah could be poised for a rebound after the decline in rents and sale prices softened during the first quarter, a report from research provider JLL Mena showed.
“Residential rents and sale prices declined on an annual basis. However, the rate of decline appears to have slowed down over the quarter, indicating the market may be headed towards the bottom of its cycle,” JLL Mena said.
Affordability issues and inadequate access to financing weighed on the demand for Jeddah residential properties during the period, resulting to a 11 percent annual decline in rents for apartments and 12 percent for villas. Sale prices for apartments and villas, meanwhile, continued to soften by 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively, year-on-year.
The three months to March recorded the delivery of approximately 1,660 standalone units, bringing the aggregate supply of residential units in Jeddah to 819,000.
The first quarter saw many developers delay the delivery of their projects as demand remained subdued, JLL Mena said in the report.
Meanwhile, office rents continued to soften as vacancy rates rose due to a slowdown in commercial activity.
“In the short-to-medium term, we expect rents to continue their downward trajectory as more supply is delivered to the market. In the long-run and as business activity picks up, we can expect to see office rents regain some momentum, particularly for quality grade office buildings,” JLL Mena said.
“In terms of location, office buildings along the primary Commercial Business District areas have been and are likely to remain popular. However, emerging areas with more advanced connectivity and amenities are expected to gain prominence and achieve a premium on office rates.”
Retail rental values were steady despite the growth of e-commerce in the kingdom, while hotel occupancy rates maintained their levels as improvements to Jeddah’s infrastructure continue to ease business and religious travel, JLL Mena said.


India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

Updated 19 April 2019
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India suspends Kashmir border trade with Pakistan

  • Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries
  • India said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency”

NEW DELHI: India has suspended trade across its disputed Kashmir border with Pakistan, alleging that weapons and drugs are being smuggled across the route, as tensions simmer between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
Kashmir has been on edge since a February suicide attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries and brought the two countries to the brink of war with cross-border air strikes.
On Thursday, India’s government, which is in the middle of a tough national election, said it had reports that trade on the border was being “misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency.”
It also said many of those trading across the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir into zones under Indian and Pakistani control, had links to militant organizations.
The home ministry said trade would be suspended until a stricter inspection mechanism is in place.
The cross-border trade is based on a barter system, with traders exchanging goods including chillies, cumin, mango and dried fruit.
It began in 2008 as a way to improve strained relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, who have fought two of their three wars over the disputed region.
The Indian Express newspaper said Friday that 35 trucks carrying fruit traveling from the Indian side of the border had been stopped after the government order.
Trade on the border has been suspended before, including in 2015, when India accused a Pakistani driver of drug trafficking.
The latest move comes after India withdrew “Most Favoured Nation Status” — covering trade links — from Pakistan after the February attack, which was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed Islamist group.
Islamabad has denied any involvement in the attack.
India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made national security a key plank of his re-election campaign, pointing to the recent flare-up of violence as he battles the center-left opposition Congress party.
He is seeking a second term from the country’s 900 million voters in the mammoth election which kicked off on April 11 and runs till May 19. The results will be out on May 23.