(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Demand for commercial properties is at lowest levels in decades, according to real estate agencies.
In separate interviews with The Jordan Times, property agents attributed the falling demand for offices and retail spaces to gloomy domestic and regional economic outlook and slow growth in key sectors.
Ahmad Qudah, a shareholder in Emar Real Estate Development and Investment Co., indicated that credit crunch and declining profits of local companies have pushed down demand for commercial properties noting that the majority of businesses prefer not to expand their operations.
He pointed out that although the number of people seeking offices for rent or purchase has went down sharply in the past two years, prices or rent value of properties remained stable.
Qudah, whose company owns two towers near the 6th Circle, western Amman, said that only eight to 10 people a month visit Emar to ask about offices for rent or sale.
According to Nizar Abdeen, owner of a real estate agency in Amman, demand for properties during the first four months of this year dropped by 40 per cent over the same period of 2011.
He attributed the decline to confusion in the country over economic conditions.
Noting that he has been in the real estate business for 22 years, he described 2012 as "the worst in decades" in terms of weak demand.
"There are no signs that the economic situation will improve in the short term and people are worried to open new businesses," Abdeen said, indicating that in the past 16 months only two offices were rented in the building where his company is headquartered.
"I have never seen demand for commercial offices and retail stores so low," said Mahmoud Quteish, from Al Khalidi real estate company.
Demand is almost zero, he indicated, because people are scared to invest their money or buy properties because the outlook for the Kingdom's economy is gloomy.
Some potential tenants or buyers are waiting believing that property values may go down, Quteish remarked, indicating that supply of commercial spaces in the capital outweighs demand.
"Everyday we have new properties that are coming on the market, but there's just not enough buyers for them," he complained.
Maher Suleiman, from Edraj real Estate, commented that between 2006 and 2008 mega real estate schemes were built in Amman to meet the expected surging demand for commercial offices.
"There was some exaggeration in the property market in terms of the number and size of investments," he said, noting that the number of companies evacuating offices is larger than the number of new tenants.
According to Islam Younes, sales manager at Fdan real estate, demand for housing units is much higher than commercial properties, despite the slowdown in the housing industry.
"We do not expect the remaining months of this year to be promising for the property market," she said, "because there are plenty of buildings for sale or rent across the capital".