Dubai real estate has offered one of the best rental yields in the world, especially in new communities giving better returns than many major cities around the world.
Property Finder's latest data disclosed that communities such as Meydan and Damac Hills offer gross rental yields of 9.3 per cent and 8.9 per cent, respectively. Dubai Silicon Oasis apartments, meanwhile, provided the highest gross rental returns in the emirate at 9.5 per cent in the first half of 2019 compared to 9.2 per cent a year ago.
Average rental yields in global property hotspots such as London stand at 2.7 per cent, Hong Kong at 2.4 per cent, New York at 2.9 per cent and Singapore at 2.5 per cent, all hovering in the low single digits while Dubai properties consistently offer over 7 per cent gross returns on average.
"Despite a sustained contraction in prices, Dubai still holds its own as an investment hotspot with attractive yields and new legislative initiatives to further entice investors and companies," said Lynnette Abad, director of data and research at Property Finder.
Rental yields are the rental income - the money a tenant pays to the landlord - divided by the purchase price of the property. It is one of the most important considerations for mid- to long-term investors. Landlords get higher rental yields from apartments than villas and make more profit by renting studios than large apartments.
Sudhakar Rao, chairman of Gemini Group, said with an ongoing increase in supply of real estate projects in Dubai, rental yields and prices have bottomed in the recent past.
"This is true for both new and old developments. This augurs well for the consumer and end-user market. It also brings quality of end-products to the fore and brings more competition. Developers are coping with this new normal by offering sweeter deals and to remain in the race. This trend is likely to continue until 2020," said Rao.
Alan James Gammon, general manager of Samana Group of companies, said rental yields across Dubai are down compared to a year ago, with keen interest in property in the heart of the city as prices have fallen and new products come online.
"It is a tenants' market with plenty of choice in all price brackets and locations. We have seen a lot of interest in newer properties as tenants see it as an upgrade and often a perceived better location for often less than they were paying a year ago. It is also supporting entry-level opportunities to the sales market with tenants taking the first step on the property ladder as first-time buyers," he said.
Property Finder revealed that investors' favourite areas such as International City (8.4 per cent), Dubai Sports City (8.4 per cent), International Media Production City and Arjan (both at 7.6 per cent) also continue to offer compelling returns for buyers.
Among villa and townhouse communities in Dubai, Town Square offered the highest gross returns at 7.8 per cent in the first half of 2019, followed by The Springs (6.6 per cent), Reem-Mira (6.4 per cent), Mudon (6.3 per cent) and Jumeirah Village Circle (6.2 per cent).
In Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates, the affordable community of Al Reef leads in terms of offering the capital's gross rental yields for both apartments and villas/townhouses at 8.5 per cent and 6.7 per cent, respectively. Apartments in Al Ghadeer (8.3 per cent) and Al Raha Beach (7.2 per cent) also find favour with investors, while villas and townhouses in Al Raha Gardens (5.7 per cent) and Golf Gardens (5.5 per cent) are also popular with those looking to make a rental income.
Luxury communities such as Saadiyat Island and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi are more targeted at end-users and therefore offer relatively lower rental yields in the UAE capital.
Apartments in Ajman's Emirates City provided the UAE's best gross rental yield at 11 per cent. Al Hamra Village in Ras Al Khaimah (9 per cent) and Ajman Downtown (8 per cent) also provided apartment buyers with robust rental returns. Meanwhile, villas in Ajman's Al Mwaihat (6 per cent), Al Hamra Village in RAK (5.2 per cent) and Al Zahraa in Ajman (4.9 per cent) rounded up the top three list of best gross returns.
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