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Dubai property prices fall by 11% in 2015

Dubai property prices fall by 11% in 2015

February 2016

Leading real estate consultancy Asteco has released its latest Dubai report, providing an historic review of last year and 2016 outlook, with affordable communities leading the way in terms of rental demand and investor opportunity against a scenario of significant oversupply looming in the high-end and luxury segments.

The report flags the impact of delayed project delivery in 2015 and a large pipeline for 2016, coupled with the demand slowdown and continued low oil prices, as an indicator of market prospects this year, with both rental rates and sales prices coming under further pressure.

A total of 13,500 apartments and 800 villas were added to Dubai’s residential real estate supply in 2015, and a further 22,000 apartments and 7,700 villas are scheduled to be delivered in 2016, with downward rental rate pressure likely to continue through to 2017, says the report.

“However, if we look to the medium and long-term, the outlook is more positive with demand more than likely to grow in line with the progress of key infrastructure projects currently underway, such as Dubai World Central Airport and Expo 2020,” said John Stevens, Managing Director, Asteco.

Residential sales recorded across-the-board declines, with villa sales prices down year-on-year by 11% and apartments by 8%. Villas on Palm Jumeirah recorded price declines of 13% over the year, dropping to AED 2,475 per square foot on average and The Meadows was also down 15% to AED 1,150.

End-users, rather than investors, were the predominant buyers of villas and townhouses, with a clear preference for smaller 2, 3 and 4 bedroom units, rather than large villas. New communities such as Mudon and Arabian Ranches Phase 2 saw improved levels of activity, offering better-priced yet good quality alternatives to some of the more established areas.

Villa rentals were down 9% on average year-on-year, but Al Barsha recorded an increase for three-bedroom villas, up 9.2% to AED 213,000 per annum while in Mirdiff similar properties rose 4.2% to AED 138,000.

“With fresh new supply entering the market, this is forcing property owners, especially of older independent villas, to become increasingly competitive on pricing,” remarked Stevens.

With supply handover slower than anticipated in 2015, apartment rental rates remained broadly stable over the year, dipping just 1% on average, although Asteco recorded disparities between different areas.

“For property owners, adjustments in terms of rental expectations and payment flexibility will have to be made. And, as usual in cases of increased supply, better quality, well managed or value-for- money properties will be able to achieve higher occupancy levels than others,” noted Stevens.

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