Dubai real estate revival: Properties are selling within hours; deals hit 6-year high

Demand for off-plan units start to pick up; deals still dominated by ready units

Dubai Skyline. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Dubai Skyline. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Buyers snapping up ready-to-occupy flats and villas have driven Dubai’s property transactions to their highest level in six years, latest data suggested.

Data Finder, the real estate insights and data platform under the Property Finder Group, has reported that in March 2021 the market saw 10.93 billion dirhams ($2.9 billion) worth of properties sold across 4,643 transactions, the highest in a single month since June 2015.

Completed units accounted for 63 percent of the transactions, or 2,930 properties, worth a total of 8.02 billion dirhams. Off-plan sales accounted for 1,713 properties, valued at a total of 2.91 billion dirhams.

“People, end users and investors alike, are once again heavily investing in the future of Dubai,” said Lynnette Abad Sacchetto, director of research and data at Property Finder.

Demand for properties, mostly completed units, in Dubai has been strong since COVID-19 restrictions started to ease in the middle of last year. Much of the demand is driven by low price points and attractive interest rates.

“Since [the second half] of 2020, we have seen records broken in certain segments of the real estate sector and in March 2021, we saw bigger records broken,” Data Finder said.

According to Lewis Allsopp, CEO of Allsopp & Allsopp, Dubai's continued growth despite the pandemic, coupled with the series of visa-related initiatives and massive COVID-19 vaccination campaign, has boost investor confidence.

"This has encouraged many expats already residing in the city to buy homes here and invest in their future and also encouraged many overseas investors," Allsopp said.

"I believe there will be many people moving to Dubai over the next few years to leave their home countries, due to the rise in interest rates and clawbacks for countries to help recover, and with Dubai not sitting on any debt from the pandemic, I can see the city continuing its push to be the leading destination in the world."

According to Sacchetto, demand for off-plan units has also been rising, with the number of transactions posting a 30 percent rise for the past two months.

“[This is] showing a huge growth in investor sentiment and positive market outlook,” she said.

“We have seen developers launch new phases within their existing projects, especially in the villa/townhouse segment, which have sold out within hours.”

Whole quarter

In total, the first three months of 2021 had 11,757 transactions worth 25.15 billion UAE dirhams, up by six percent when compared to the previous quarter.

Secondary properties also registered a 16 percent increase quarter-on-quarter, but off-plan units still posted a seven percent decline.

Data Finder also reported a huge interest in villas and townhouses in Mohammed bin Rashid City, which accounted for 11.5 percent of all sales in March 2021.

Also popular among secondary home buyers are Tilal Al Ghaf, Dubai Hills Estate and Nad Al Sheba, which accounted for 10.1 percent, 9.9 percent and 8.2 percent of the deals, respectively.

Among the apartment buyers, the most popular location is Business Bay, accounting for 10.7 percent of the total deals, followed by Dubai Marina (9.3 percent), Jumeirah Village Circle (8 percent), Jumeirah Lakes Towers (7.6 percent) and Palm Jumeirah (7.2 percent).

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

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© ZAWYA 2021

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