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Real estate transactions in Dubai last year exceeded Dh218 billion. Although the value of deals slowed down compared with 2013, a closer look at the latest report by the Dubai Land Department showed that certain locations remain attractive to investors.
Here are the top three areas that drew the biggest number of buyers looking to cash in on the city's property market in 2014.
A fast-growing commercial and residential district that is quite close to the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, and the largest shopping center, Dubai Mall, Business Bay emerged as last year's winner in apartment sales.
Sales transactions for 2014 indicate that this bustling district, which is also located along the Dubai Creek, is becoming highly sought after by investors. According to Dubai Land Department, Business Bay recorded the highest number of real estate deals, reaching 4,315. The value of sales for all the apartments in the area totaled Dh7.2 billion last year.
Mujtaba Virani, residential consultant for Better Homes, Business Bay branch, observes that the area's fast-growing community feel, new roads and better accessibility are some of the attractive selling points for Business Bay. The area also has easy access to the Dubai Metro and convenience stores like Spinneys and Choithrams.
''Historically, prices in Business Bay have always been 20 to 30 per cent lower than Downtown, even though the community-living support services are still not as extensive,'' says Virani.
''Feedback from investors and residents is that with Business Bay's lifestyle community growing quickly and more affordable property rates, the area has enough of what Downtown has to offer to make it a popular choice, particularly with Downtown hot spots, the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, around the corner,'' Virani tells Gulf News.
John Stevens, managing director of Asteco, however, says that Business Bay has seen a lot of new supply come on line and due for delivery in the next few years. ''A shift in emphasis from office towers to a grater residential and leisure offering will have contributed to the area's popularity.''
Easily taking the second spot is another popular location preferred by many expatriates working in Dubai and companies doing business in the country. Dubai Marina, which is also called ''a city within the city'', registered 4,121 real estate transactions with sales reaching Dh9.17 billion. The value of sales recorded for Dubai Marina outpaced that of Business Bay, which could be due to the area's higher unit prices.
Al Thenaya Al Khamesa
A major development that covers the Jumeirah Lakes Towers area, Al Thenaya Al Khamesa came third in terms of transactions, which reached 2,615. Sales of apartments in this area reached Dh3.4 billion, more than half the amount raised for Business Bay units.
Overall, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) logged 53,871 real estate transactions last year. Land sales and mortgages were valued at Dh150 billion.
Dubai's real estate market further stabilised last year, with housing rents and sales prices slowing down.
''Dubai's real estate sector has witnessed further stabilisation and a slowing down of rental rates. For the first time since 2012, we have seen both residential rental rates and sales prices decline as a result of a natural adjustment to ongoing new supply entering the market,'' Stevens tells Gulf News.
''The real estate market has shown a clear ability to gain momentum from year to year, in addition to maintaining sustainable growth, as well as the trend towards maturity,'' adds Sultan Butti Bin Merjen, director general of DLD.
Real estate sales took the lion's share, or 51 per cent, of the transactions, while share mortgages accounted for 44 per cent. Term sales transactions reached 38,113 with the value exceeding Dh112 billion.
Dubai's real estate market also recorded 12,511 mortgage transactions worth Dh97 billion, while the rest of the transactions was valued at Dh10 billion.
Find out why buying property can never go out of fashion in Dubai
Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter, gulfnews.com