Dubai property deals hit four-year high to $3bln in May 2021

77% of residential units sold are apartments, says Property Finder

The Burj Khalifa, stands surrounded by other skyscrapers on November 29, 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Image used for illustrative purpose.

The Burj Khalifa, stands surrounded by other skyscrapers on November 29, 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Property transactions in Dubai jumped to a four-year high in May, indicating that the market has rebounded since the COVID-19 lockdown last year, according to Dubai-based listings portal Property Finder. 

A total of 4,429 deals worth 11.11 billion dirhams ($3 billion) were registered during the month, the highest since March 2017. 

The latest data showed that the total transaction value in Dubai’s real estate market has recovered by more than 324 percent since the COVID-19 lockdown last year. 

“One indication that Dubai’s real estate market has rebounded is that the average transaction value for a single property has increased, 16.77 percent for villa/townhouses and 17.18 percent for apartments in one year,” said Lynnette Abad Sacchetto, director of research and data at Property Finder. 

Surpassing 2019 deals 

When looking over the past few years, Sacchetto said transactions have not only picked up since 2020 but from 2019 as well.

"To put things further into perspective, we have seen a 36.5 percent increase in total volume of sales transactions and a whopping 83.8 percent increase in total value of sales transactions when comparing May 2021 to May 2019,” she said. 

According to other research data, the UAE property market remains subdued overall. While buyer demand for properties has indeed increased since restrictions began to ease last year, prices and rents in the market are still weak when compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. 

Apartment rents in Dubai were down 10 percent in the first quarter of the year when compared to the same period in 2020, while sales prices fell 2 percent during the same period, according to Asteco. When compared to the 2014 peak, rental rates were lower by 44 percent, while sales prices were down 35 percent. The picture is no different in Abu Dhabi, where apartment rents and sales were still down 8 percent and 2 percent, respectively, in the first quarter compared to a year ago. 

Latest transaction data 

Last month, the bulk of properties sold (77 percent) were apartments, while 23 percent were villas and townhouses. 

Most of the buyers also continued to lean towards the secondary or ready market, which represented 62 percent of last month’s deals. The off-plan market accounted for 38 percent of the transactions. 

The top areas of interest for villa or townhouse buyers in May 2021 were Dubai Hills Estate, Arabian Ranches, Palm Jumeirah, Damac Hills and Mohammed bin Rashid City. 

Among apartment buyers, the most popular locations were Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, Business Bay and Jumeirah Village Circle. 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 

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