The Boston rental market is very strong. Overall, rents increased over the past six months, fueled by high demand for rentals by incoming executives. While there has been an increase in supply, particularly for apartments in the downtown and Seaport areas, demand still outpaces supply. The vacancy rate is low, with single family home rentals showing less availability than apartment rentals. Sources noted that there is a significant number of new apartments planned that could lead to more stable rents down the road.
Rents continued to decrease over the past six months. Many apartments are vacant, and some landlords have deferred maintenance, leading to lower quality and lower rents. Some owners have dropped their rents to attract the remaining expatriates.
Many expatriates have left Doha, resulting in a drop in rents for apartments and houses. Some remaining executives are upgrading to newer compounds in more desirable areas closer to the seaside. The incoming foreign workforce is now more often involved in construction projects, such as the new metro system and the 2022 World Cup project. Msheireb Downtown Doha is a huge downtown regeneration project covering 310,000 square meters, planned to include commercial, retail, and residential sectors. Apartments and houses in the complex are expected to be of good quality with high-end finishes.
In Abu Dhabi, limited economic growth has led to job cuts and fewer opportunities for incoming expatriates. Rents are dropping as new housing supply increases. The decrease in rents was most prominent for mid- to high-quality properties. New supply has been more regulated than before in Abu Dhabi, and the result has been less development. In Dubai, supply continues to increase, and expatriates are arriving with lower budgets and smaller family sizes. Vacancy rates are increasing, and rental negotiation is more common. A 5% VAT, implemented at the beginning of 2018, is applied to hotels and serviced apartments but not to long-term rentals.
Darwin was once a booming city, but its economy and rental market have slowed along with the oil and gas industry. Fewer companies are sending new expatriates, and vacancy rates have increased, especially for apartments. A new land tax on foreign investors will take effect July 1 in the Northern Territory. This tax follows a higher land tax for owners of investment properties that was implemented last year and is unlikely to affect rents.
Jakarta’s rental market weakened as new construction added to the oversupply of rental properties. Some older properties are being renovated to keep up with the standards set by the new supply. Units with 1 or 4 bedrooms are hard to find, though executives looking for 2- to 3- bedroom apartments will have plenty to choose from. Cranes can be seen all over the city as new construction continues, despite evidence that the city is at capacity with rental units.