Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The Metropolitan Group announced its flagship real estate companies, Dubai-based Metropolitan Premium Properties (MPP) and Abu Dhabi-based Metropolitan Capital Real Estate (MCRE), registered a combined 200% increase in online sales transactions from international buyers over the past seventeen months.

The Metropolitan Group registered AED 1.5bn overall sales in 2020 and AED 3.5bn by the end of September 2021.

The Group witnessed an increase in online transactions from overseas buyers since the start of COVID-19 (March 2020) and this trend has continued into 2021. Online sales transactions now represent 15% of all the Group’s sales transactions compared to only 5% pre-COVID-19. The Group’s biggest online transaction was an AED 20m commercial property in Business Bay, acquired by an overseas investment fund.

“It must be said that today, the UAE has the fastest and most efficient system in the world for purchasing properties online, with some transactions taking less than one hour to be completed,” said Nikita Kuznetsov, Partner Metropolitan Group and CEO of Metropolitan Premium Properties. 

“The increase in online transactions can be attributed to people movement restrictions, however, it has also been greatly fueled by enhancements to government regulations and developers easing the purchasing process and procedures for buyers. Developers are facilitating online transactions by introducing live walking tours, 360-degree property visualisation, online booking forms, e-signature possibilities and minimum payments to secure units. Certain private developers are also accepting cryptocurrency as a mode of payment.” 

First-time buyers are purchasing properties between AED 700,000 and AED 3m and repeat customers are purchasing units between AED 5-6m. The average decision-making time for purchasing property online is within 40 days and 80% of the Group’s clients who make enquiries online end up purchasing a property. New client sales account for 60% of the transactions while 40% are repeat buyers.

In terms of location, properties close to the ocean are seeing the highest demand in communities such as Emaar Beachfront, Port De La Mer, Address JBR and Madinat Jumeirah Living. 

Kuznetsov added: “The people who are buying are choosing Dubai due to the high levels of safety and security the country offers, especially for high-net-worth individuals. Other key deciding factors include international schools, good infrastructure, tax-free status, new visa options and 100% foreign ownership possibilities. From our clients, we are seeing that 70% are purchasing for secondary homes and 30% for investment purposes.”

From the Group’s overseas customers, 30% are from the CIS, 30% are from European countries, 20% from the GCC and 20% from the rest of the world.

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