In the first six months, rent increases in Sharjah have been limited to around 4-6 per cent, and it's mostly confined to new buildings and communities. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Apartment rents in Sharjah continue to see limited increases at the end of the first six months of 2024, thus proving to be a significant relief for tenants renewing their leases and those who are looking to the emirate for a re-location.

As for Sharjah’s landlords, the current rental trends are just fine. Major residential locations in the emirate have seen increases of 4-6 per cent through this period. But the key point is that the increases have mostly come at newer communities or buildings rather than landlords jacking up rates on their existing tenants during renewals, sources add.

3-year rent freeze

As for new tenants, their biggest plus is the 3-year rental freeze that kicks in when they sign the contract. That lock on their rental outgo has spurred demand for relocations ahead of the summer break. It’s unlikely that the current rental dynamic will change significantly in the second-half of the year, the sources add.

“The clarity new tenants get on their rental obligations for 3 years is a decisive factor these days,” said a leasing agent. “The newer buildings and communities in particular have taken some of the highest intakes of people shifting to Sharjah.”

Rent range in new communities

Property listings featuring homes in Sharjah’s recently developed communities – Aljada, Al Zahia – reflect this. For instance, at Aljada, one-bedroom apartments are listing for around Dh40,000, while similar options at Al Zahia are showing quite a few rental rate choices, starting from Dh38,000 and thereabouts.

“The Sharjah residential market has seen a significant influx of new homeowners and renters, mainly due to rising rents in Dubai,” said Muhammad Qasim Ikhlaq, Sales and Leasing Manager at Betterhomes’ Sharjah Branch.

“Rents in Sharjah, particularly in freehold areas with new developments, have seen a slight increase. As the market develops and sale prices rise, rents will also increase. (For now), they remain stable overall due to the 3-year fixed rent law in Sharjah.”

Landlords remain flexible on terms

By and large, the majority of landlords with older buildings are fine with retaining their existing tenants, after negotiating marginal increases to the lease rates. There is a strong rationale for this – “Landlords prefer to keep their units occupied by cooperating with tenants, as multiple new options are set to be handed over in Sharjah,” said Ikhlaq.

Sharjah benefits from inter-emirate relocations, but this is largely confined to areas close to Dubai due to peak-hour traffic

- Muhammad Qasim Ikhlaq of Betterhomes

Based on rough estimates, Sharjah’s residential space should see upwards of 10,000 new homes being handed over by the end of the decade. Some industry sources say this number could even be on the lower side given the priority the authorities have placed on creating new housing stock in fast-emerging locations in the emirate.

“What Dubai South is doing in Dubai in creating new living spaces outside of the city, there are locations in Sharjah that are up for rapid development,” said a property investor. “Sharjah’s master-developer like Shurooq have been placing a lot of emphasis on that.”

That’s all further down the road. As things stand now, ‘most (of the) new developments in Sharjah, although sold out, are only about 20-30 per cent complete, except at one or two communities,” said Ikhlaq.

In other words, Sharjah’s existing landlords still hold sway in attracting new tenants and retaining current ones. And right now, these landlords are still keeping their rental demands in check.

Tenants are fine with that…