Buyers hold sway in the luxury market

Professional speakLuke Jones, Luxury Sales Specialist, Luxhabitat

Despite the softening of prices in the property market, there is a buzz in the luxury realestate sector in Dubai.

There have been some high-profile off-plan launches and record transactions.

Ongoing trends suggest it is a buyer’s market and Luxury Sales Specialist Luke Jones of Luxhabitat offers some handy advice on how to make the right choice for your dream home.


My experience tells me that investors will always pay top dollar for premium developments in Dubai.

The problem is that there is still a large gap in the market for high-end luxury properties.

The term “luxury development” is overused in my opinion and generally thrown around by developers in order to help sell their products.

There is Le Reve, a high-end luxury development in Dubai Marina, which recently had a transaction price of Dh18.5 million.

An off-plan development on the tip of the M Frond at Palm Jumeirah was put on sale at just under Dh65 million.

So, yes, the liquidity is there for the right product because savvy investors know in the broadest sense that luxury means quality, refinement and exclusivity.

Luxury locations

Last year, a Bromellia villa located in Jasmine Leaf 10 at Al Barari sold for Dh17.75 million. Today, the same villas are transacting at around the Dh15 million mark.

Generally, things were quiet during the Ramadan period, so now that Ramadan is over, everyone in the real estate industry would expect to see a higher number of transactions in different segments.

Prices will stabilise and the message to sellers right now is simple.

A buyer’s market has now clearly emerged in Al Barari (and in other segments as well), with the additional oversupply of property inventory on the resale market.

Sellers should be prepared to negotiate and have a degree of flexibility in order to achieve a transaction.

For the buyers, this premium residential development offers plenty of amenities amidst a lush green surrounding.

Among the golf communities, the highest volume of transactions duringthe first half of the year came from Emirates Hills. This development offers some of the high-end luxury properties in the emirate.

However, Arabian Ranches sold the most amount of units in the first half of 2015 at 38 units for an average of Dh6.5 million per villa at an average price of Dh1,402 per square foot. Infrastructure and brand equity are the true reasons for the success of Arabian Ranches.

In developments that offer so much variety – different communities, views, types of villas and new subcommunities – the price range can greatly vary.

For example, in Arabian Ranches, a golf course-facing Hattan home may have a listing price of Dh14 million, while a pitch-facing Polo home with complete fit-out may list for Dh25 million.

We work closely with some valuation companies, like Colliers, to better understand the true value of villas and apartments. Their research claims there has been a 10 per cent price drop in Arabian Ranches in the past year.

As far as Jumeirah Golf Estates is concerned, the average price per square foot for a luxury villa in the Flame Tree Ridge and Lime Tree Valley developments is Dh1,600 per square foot for completed villas. The average built-up-area for these villas ranges from 4,200 to 10,000 square feet. A luxury villa in the same development is available at a price range of between D8 million and Dh11 million.

About Dh893 million was spent on luxury golf properties in Dubai in the first half of the year.

The Palm Jumeirah remains a big area of interest for both investors and end-users. In the analysis of the first six months of 2015, the area accounted for the most number of villas sold in the price range of Dh5 million and above. Around 43 villas in the price range of above Dh5 million were sold in the first half of the year, amounting to transactions worth Dh723 million. This area was followed by Arabian Ranches and Jumeirah Park (36 units).

Emerging trends

•    Developers now have realised that there is a gap in the market for legitimate high-end luxury properties and more of these types of projects are being rolled out. Take for example, Dubai Hills. This will really shake things up in Emirates Hills and other developments where there is a general lack of quality and affordability. Another amazing project that may very well raise the bar is the Bvlgari Resort & Residents development. Here, a three to six-bedroom mansion has a starting price point of Dh17 million and reaches up to Dh48 million.

Source: S. Dhar, Special to Freehold


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