Dubai, UAE: Dubai’s off-plan property market is projected to see a healthy growth of 14-15% this year compared to 2023, according to Metropolitan Premium Properties (MPP), a full-service real estate agency and the Metropolitan Group’s flagship property company. Property prices have increased by an average of 20% since the start of the year and this trend is expected to continue for the remainder of the year.

Dubai’s off-plan sales surged 72.5% in 2023, reaching a staggering AED 160.46 billion up from AED 93 billion in 2022 further solidifying the city’s status as a global real estate powerhouse. The momentum has continued in 2024, with approximately AED 60 billion in off-plan transactions recorded by the end of April.

Mirroring the market trend, MPP’s off-plan sales performance in Q1 2024 was consistent with overall market activity. The company continues to maintain a strong position among top brokers for leading developers. In 2023, MPP achieved the top ranking with Dubai Holding, Select Group, Arada and Majid Al Futtaim. Additionally, MPP secured third place with DAMAC, fourth with Emaar and Nakheel and ninth with Sobha.

MPP expects to see the launch of approximately AED 300 billion worth of projects by top developers in the next two years, with half focusing on new master plans and communities featuring townhouses and villas. 

Elie Bou Chrouch, Head of Sales – Off-plan at Metropolitan Premium Properties, said: “While off-plan is still growing in 2024, we anticipate a slight moderation compared to the exceptional growth of 45-48% observed last year. Currently, we are seeing adjustments from developers with attractive incentives like discounts, flexible payment plans and post-handover payment options.”

The Dubai off-plan property market witnessed a significant upsurge in Q1 2024, recording over 7,700 transactions in March alone. This represents a staggering 21.7% increase from February and a healthy 3.3% jump in market share, pushing it close to 57%. These figures mark the highest level of off-plan activity since 2009, underlining the remarkable resurgence of this segment.

The first quarter of this year saw a flurry of project launches as well with a total of 34,000 units spread across 120 projects, the period averaged one new launch per day. However, MPP predicts an even faster pace moving forward, with an anticipated average of two new project launches per day starting in May.

According to Bou Chrouch, the off-plan market is attracting a diverse range of buyers, with Indians, British, Russians, Europeans and Chinese nationals leading the pack. Emiratis, Arabs from GCC countries, Americans and Iranians are also showing strong interest. Significantly, while investors remain a dominant force, the number of end-user buyers is growing rapidly.

This surge in investor confidence is fueled by Dubai’s numerous advantages, including its stable economy, robust infrastructure, safety, freehold property regulations, attractive rental yields, tax-free property ownership, visa opportunities such as the Golden Visa, competitive property prices compared to other top international cities, thriving tourism and hospitality sectors, diverse investment options, visionary leadership and favourable government policies.

The top off-plan areas include Business Bay, Palm Jebel Ali, Meydan, Dubai Islands, Dubai Hills, Dubai Land, Dubai South, Jumeirah Village Circle and Dubai Creek Harbour. The most active market segment lies between AED 1,200 and AED 2,500 per square foot, translating to properties priced between AED 1.5 million and AED 10 million.

According to MPP, small ticket projects between AED 500,000 and AED 2 million are selling fast. Townhouses and villas are in high demand, making up 50% of off-plan property investments. There’s also been an impressive surge in demand for affordable properties, especially property priced below AED 2 million and villas below AED 10 million.

The Metropolitan Group in the UAE includes two full-service real estate agencies: Metropolitan Premium Properties (Dubai) and Metropolitan Capital Real Estate LLC (Abu Dhabi). The group also has Metropolitan Consulting FZE, a supporting company that provides personal and business legal services in the UAE.