Dubai realty stages V-shaped rebound as H1 deal value surges 113%

Ready properties drew the most attention from investors

  
An aerial view of the Dubai Marina October 25, 2010.

An aerial view of the Dubai Marina October 25, 2010.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
Dubai’s residential property sector witnessed a V-shaped recovery in the first half of 2021 subsequent to a bottom out in November 2020, a property investment and technology platform said in a research report.

During the first six months of 2021, Dubai’s residential property market recorded a 74 per cent increase in overall volume of transactions compared to the same 2020 period, while the value of property transactions increased by 113 per cent in the same period, analysts at SmartCrowd said in their “Dubai Residential Property Report.”

Siddiq Farid, CEO and co-founder of SmartCrowd, said a combination of factors appeared to have strengthened the volume and value of transactions in Dubai during the first half of this year.

“Government policies to introduce attractive visa and residency schemes for investors and professionals are starting to bear fruit. Incentives to support entrepreneurs and the private sector, proactive safety measures to combat Covid-19, and visionary thinking for events such as Expo 2020, have underpinned investor appetite for real estate in Dubai. While nothing is guaranteed, we expect that confidence to continue to grow for the remainder of the year,” said Farid.

Ready properties drew the most attention from investors with 72 per cent of overall deals in completed homes as against 28 per cent off-plan. Demand for ready stock also helped drive per square foot prices for available properties up by 10 per cent.

“With a lack of new supply in Dubai’s most popular areas and pricing at levels last seen in 2011, there is positive sentiment in the market and a resultant boost in demand for existing properties,” said Farid.

Dubai’s villa segment has posted some of the strongest sales performance as people’s preferences have shifted to larger living spaces, with room for outdoor activities.

The research shows that the sales average for ready villas in Dubai has increased by over 19.3 per cent from Dh 758.4 per square foot in H1 2020 to Dh905.1 per square foot in H1 2021. Similarly, off-plan sales prices of villas have grown by 9.3 per cent from Dh 684.8 per square foot in H1 2020 to Dh748.4 per square foot in H1 2021. For apartments, ready sales prices have increased by 8.7 per cent year-on-year, while off-plan apartment prices have dropped on average 9.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The report said average off-plan price per square foot took a dip by 3.42 per cent compared to H1 2020 and attributed it to new supply focusing on affordable housing segments and thus putting downward pressure on average pricing.

The report also looked more closely at specific areas and segments in Dubai. Palm Jumeirah has shown a 34 per cent uptick in the value of property transactions and a 221 per cent increase in volume of transactions, while JLT saw the highest increase in transaction volume of 262 per cent.

“Dubai is a unique market with some pockets of the city performing better than others. One of the advantages of investing in real estate via crowdfunding is diversification of your portfolio – you can spread investment over a number of areas and follow the overall trend of the market, rather than putting all your eggs in one basket in a single property,” said Farid.

Farid said crowdfunding properties can help to further stimulate the market and support developers with their sales efforts. Investor sentiment is returning, and personal finances are beginning to recover too. “While investing in an entire property in Dubai might still be out of reach for some, investment via crowdfunding allows people to take a fraction of a property from as little as Dh2,000. Crowdfunding in real estate is an accelerating trend and has the potential to be a major catalyst for the region’s property market.”

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