The volume of apartments sold in Dubai grew while the number of villas and townhouses sold fell year-on-year (YoY) to the second quarter of 2023, according to new data.

Dubai Land Department data published by Better Homes showed the number of property sales was up by 37% (YoY), but while apartment sales grew by 57%, the number of villa sales fell by 9%.

The total value of sales was up by 47%, but apartment sales values grew faster, up by 69% year-on-year compared with a 19% increase for villa and townhouse sales.

Richard Waind, group managing director, Betterhomes, said there were two factors impacting the rise in apartment sales. First, the increased value of apartments due to buyers being priced out of villas, and second, the higher number of apartment launches in the off-plan sector.

Waind said many buyers are buyers being priced out of villas, meaning apartments have become a more attractive option and that there is heightened demand and increased investment in this segment of the market.

In turn, developers have responded to growing demand by focusing on the off-plan apartment sector, he said.

“They are launching a higher number of apartment projects to cater to the needs and preferences of buyers. This surge in apartment launches provides buyers with a wider range of options, allowing them to choose from various locations, sizes, and amenities.”There were 27,215 transactions in the second quarter, a fall of 4% on Q1.

Off-plan transactions grew 67% (YoY) with a 15% increase in the secondary market.

Sales prices continued to grow overall for the most part (YoY), but there has been price softening in some areas, for example, apartment sales prices in Barsha Heights, formerly known as Tecom, where they fell by 20% YoY, and Dubai Investments Park where apartment prices fell by 11%.

 Prices softened in more areas during the quarter, notably in the Palm Jumeirah where apartment prices fell by 2%, while villa prices fell by 1% in Silicon Oasis, 4% in The Villa and 5% in Living Legends.

Indians were the biggest buyers of property, followed by buyers from the UK, then Russia, then Egypt. UAE nationals were the fifth biggest buyers of property, with Turkish buyers ranking sixth for the most properties bought.

This is a change from Q1, during which UK buyers ranked number one, Indians number two, Russia third, Italians fourth, Lebanese buyers fifth, Egyptians sixth, Turkish buyers seventh, while UAE nationals were the 10th largest buyers of properties.

 Meanwhile, data from property portal Bayut showed that property prices in Dubai’s most searched for areas have increased by between 1% and 17% in the first half of 2023. Downtown Dubai, Business Bay, Palm Jumeirah, and Jumeirah Beach Residence all saw prices increase by 13% during the period.

Villas in Arabian Ranches increased in price during the half year by 2.81%, whereas Dubai Hills Estate prices appreciated faster by 11.9% in H1 2023. Damac Hills, Palm Jumeirah and Jumeirah Park all saw villa prices increase by 17%.

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Brinda Darasha)