The report noted that apartments for sale fared worse than rentals, with low to mid-single-digit percentage drops right across the UAE.
Apartment communities in Dubai that witnessed the biggest sales price drop in H1 2019 were Al Sufouh (-10.5 percent), Remraam (-9.6 percent), Downtown Dubai (-7.4 percent), Old Town (-7.2 percent) and Jumeirah Lakes Towers (-6.5 percent). Meanwhile, Mirdif, Jumeirah Village Triangle, Dubai South, Arjan and Al Furjan stayed resilient and resisted the price drop.
However, sales prices of apartments in Ras Al Khaimah witnessed the biggest decline in H1 2019, dropping 6.2 percent to an advertised median price of AED 560 per square foot; exactly half the median advertised price in Abu Dhabi, which dropped 4.4 percent to AED 1,120.
Ajman, with a median square foot advertised price of just AED 269, is still by far the cheapest, the report noted, adding, prices dropped 3.9 percent in H1.
Apartments in Sharjah held their value best in H1 as they have done for the last couple of years. They declined modestly by 1.5 percent during this half-year to a median advertised price of AED 475 per square foot.
Villa buying trends
New affordable off-plan offerings in Dubai South, Dubailand and Town Square were popular with buyers, the Property Finder Trends report said.
“As new affordable villa communities are getting completed and handed over, we have seen a migration to these communities from popular areas such as Dubai Marina. Families are choosing to live a little further out in the suburban areas of Dubai in order to gain access to a larger property with outside space,” said Lynnette Abad, Director of Data & Research, Property Finder.
“We have also seen a large influx of renters converting to home buyers, especially in these new villa communities,” Abad added.
Ajman’s villa prices were flat, dropping just 0.6 percent compared to H2 2018. Sharjah dropped 1.6 percent while Ras Al Khaimah experienced a significant drop of 5.9 percent, it said.
Abu Dhabi bucked the national downward trend, with a 1.5 percent increase to a median villa advertised price of AED 827 per square foot.
Villa communities in Dubai that experienced the biggest decline in sales prices in H1 2019 were Damac Hills (-8.2 percent), Emirates Hills (-6.6 percent), Green Community Motor City (-5.4 percent), Dubai Silicon Oasis (-5.2 percent), Al Furjan and The Villa (-5.1 percent).
However, communities like Living Legends, District One in Mohammed Bin Rashid City, Mirdif, Green Community DIP and Palm Jumeirah Signature Villas recorded zero or a very marginal drop in villa sales prices.
Transactions in Dubai
The report also noted changes in the types of properties purchased by investors.
Dubai apartments remain the preferred property type, and although their year-on-year transaction numbers have declined, the value has increased, the report said.
Downtown Dubai saw the most apartment sales in H1 2019 at 1,586, of which 1,288 were off-plan transactions. Dubai Hills Estate (972 off-plan apartment transactions) and The Lagoons in Dubai Creek Harbour (853 off-plan apartment transactions), both Emaar developments, were also popular.
For villas, there have been more transactions but at lower values, mostly in the new, affordable communities targeted at the low to middle income segment.
Dubai South with 434 sales (all off-plan) had by far the most villa/townhouse transactions in H1 2019. Town Square with 188 sales (128 off-plan) also fits this description.
(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Mily Chakrabarty)
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