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Although Dubai continues to be the frontrunner when it comes to the number of real estate developments and transactions in the country, Abu Dhabi is not far behind, launching several projects in different areas. Here, Ameen Al Qudsi, CEO of Nationwide Middle East Properties, discusses the current status of the capital’s residential property market.
Agents and brokers having solid knowledge and understanding of the Abu Dhabi real estate market say that the current status of the emirate’s real estate market is stable. The sales transaction flow is good for either investors or end-users. On the other hand, leasing is taking more credit than sales because finding a dream home in most areas has become an easy and hassle-free procedure.
Rentals are increasing and will continue to increase in the coming years due to higher demand and lesser supply. Most tenants are not that comfortable living in a community where rents are becoming more expensive, with an increase of sometimes more than 5% per year. Generally, they cannot afford to stay in the same place because of limited housing budget. This is the main reason why tenants have to move outside the city, and prefer a peaceful but affordable accommodation.
The Abu Dhabi property market is no doubt growing very rapidly, with many upcoming attractions for visitors-turned residents, offering them a different lifestyle to savour and enjoy.
The challenge to provide what exactly a tenant, an investor or even an end-user wants has been accepted by the different property developers in the capital.
Many reputed developers are coming up with huge property projects such as Aldar launching several residential developments, namely Al Hadeel, Ansam, Nareel Island, West Yas and Mayan with a gross value of more than Dh5 billion as well as Meera, consisting of two identical buildings targeting the middle-income earners, currently under construction on Al Reem Island.
Bloom Properties’ coming attractions include Soho Square on Saadiyat Island which aims to build over 300 homes consisting of apartments, townhouses and penthouses spread in 10-story structures, as well as the UAE national-focused project Bloom Gardens comprising villas and quadplexes.
Areas with high rents
The overall market is seeing a steady increase in rental prices which could lead to a significant change next year. The highest rentals are in Al Zeina at Al Raha Beach where the values of one-bedroom apartments start at Dh125,000.
Saadiyat Island is the second locality with the highest rents. One-bedrooms villas are being rented out between Dh110,000 and Dh115,000, three-bedroom townhouses at Dh300,000, and luxurious six-bedroom villas at around Dh875,000.
High rental values in other areas in the capital can also be witnessed in Al Marasy in Al Bateen, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers and Nation Towers in Corniche, and in some communities on Al Reem Island where one-bedroom apartments can cost Dh95,000 to Dh105,000 per annum.
Areas attracting buyers
Our quarterly market statistics show that Al Reem Island is the first destination for buyers, whether they are end-users or investors. Properties on the island could generate up to 7.5% on rental returns. The island is also luring most end-users and investors because of its fully functional amenities such as schools, supermarkets, and fitness and sports facilities. Spectacular sea views, close distance to the city centre and proximity to the airport are added advantages.
Al Reef is another community preferred by buyers because of its good prices targeting the middle-income bracket. The community answers the several needs and requests of potential homeowners as it features townhouses, apartments and villas. The return on rentals can reach 8% or even 9%, an enticing factor for investment.
Hydra Village, located almost halfway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, comes third. It has easy access to the airport, and the leisure, shopping and surrounding communities of Yas Island. It attracts buyers because of its location as well as its affordable investment and acquisition prices offered on the market.
Some upcoming communities
• Al Hadeel at Bandar – will consist of townhouses, apartments and duplexes, with some units overlooking the beach
• Al Merief – a villa and apartment project catering to the requirements of UAE nationals
• Ansam – will feature hundreds of apartments spread in four buildings
• Mayan – will comprise townhouses, apartments and villas nestled in the waterfront
• Soho Square – a mixed-use project with penthouses, apartments and townhouses
• West Yas – a villa community exclusively for UAE nationals
Source: Ellen Joyce Soriano, Special to Freehold
The writer is a freelancer