Cost of housing in Qatar falls for the first time in two years

As demand for housing in Qatar begins to fall, the average cost of renting a home here has dropped for the first time since 2013, new government data shows.

The decline between March and April was small – only 0.1 percent, according to the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics’ (MDPS) monthly consumer price index report – and could be easily erased if costs climb this month.

And residents are still paying 5.6 percent more for residential accommodations and basic utilities such as water and electricity than they were a year ago, MDPS figures show.

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But the month-over-month decline in housing expenses is the first in at least 29 months and comes as experts say vacancy rates are creeping up in and around Doha.

Demand has been softening due to layoffs in the energy and health care sectors, among other industries.