CITYSCAPE 2019: Sobha Realty beats slowdown blues, logs strong sales growth

Dubai-based developer eyes entry into the US and the UK markets

  
Sobha Realty Redefines New-age Luxury with One Park Avenue at Sobha Hartland

Sobha Realty Redefines New-age Luxury with One Park Avenue at Sobha Hartland

Sobha Realty / Handout via Zawya

While a slump in property prices continues to weigh on most developers, Sobha Realty has achieved 50 percent of its sales target for 2019, the company’s founder and Chairman said.

Sobha Realty has registered one billion UAE dirhams ($272 million) in sales to date, covering half of its target of two billion dirhams ($544.5 million), thanks to “a strong investor uptake” for its flagship project Sobha Hartland, said PNC Menon in an email interview.

The freehold project, which is a part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City master development, is a spread across eight million square feet in the heart of Dubai.

“Our financial performance is a testament to exclusive offering that Sobha Hartland provides, and the exclusive sustainable living experience in the heart of the city,” he said, adding that investors were attracted by the diverse options on offer, ranging from villas to apartments to townhouses, and the Sobha brand’s “quality and luxurious craftsmanship”

He said the company would be presenting Sobha Hartland at Cityscale Global this week, “as a master development and showcase the various projects within, [including] those which we have launched and those that we’ll be launching.”

The company has so far handed over the first phase of Sobha Hartland Greens, comprising six mid-rise buildings. Out of the total 167 apartments available, it has handed over 117 to its clients as of now.

“Meanwhile, we will be handing over 40 units in 2019 across multiple projects including Sobha Hartland Greens, Forest Villas and townhouses,” said Menon, adding that the completion date of all projects within Sobha Hartland is 2025.

Mr. PNC Menon, Chairman & Founder, Sobha Realty. Image supplied by Sobha Realty

Chinese investors

The company’s track record of on-time delivery of projects has generated investor confidence and supported off-plan sales, he noted.

While Dubai’s real estate sector has been going through a subdued phase, Menon said the market has seen growth ahead of Expo 2020 and will continue to move in that direction.

 “There is new money flowing into the market from international investors who are looking to diversify their investment. The UAE has always been a lucrative market for property buyers as it offers the best value for money compared to any other property market in the world, be it London or Hong Kong,” he claimed.

Sobha Realty, which recently opened a sales office in Shanghai, has recorded 200 per cent growth in Chinese investors for its Sobha Hartland project in the first two months of 2019.

“The UAE leadership has maintained a great relationship with China and has further developed it during the past few years. This has resulted in a lot of Chinese investors looking for real estate in the UAE,” explained Menon.

Sobha Hartland has attracted the attention of local and international investors, with 36.46 per cent of buyers this year from China and around eight per cent each from India and Saudi Arabia. The project also has Emirati buyers that comprise 15 per cent of all buyers in 2019.

The developer also recently announced the launch of One Park Avenue, its latest 24-storey residential tower that will include 403 one-to four-bedroom apartments within Sobha Hartland.

Given the current oversupply in the market, Menon said the company’s priority in the UAE now would be to complete all the projects within the master development.

“The plan is to focus all our energy and resources towards the successful delivery of Sobha Hartland. There are projects in the pipeline but that is something for the future,” he said.

Sobha Realty Redefines New-age Luxury with One Park Avenue at Sobha Hartland. Image supplied by Sobha Realty

Expansion plans

Talking about future plans, Menon said expansion has always been on the boards. “But, like any other international organisation, we must wait and look for the right time as the dynamics of the industry are changing more rapidly than ever.”

In terms of new markets, he revealed that the US and the UK are very lucrative markets for Sobha Realty because of “their transparent policies and growing real estate industry”.

“We have prioritised our targets and should be able to reach them in the next two years,” said Menon, who has recently opened a sales office in London.

Moving forward, Menon insisted, whichever market they choose to expand in, they will be involved in all aspects of delivering the project and maintaining the standards they are renowned for.

(Reporting by Syed Ameen Kader; Editing by Anoop Menon)

(anoop.menon@refinitiv.com)

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