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The Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) announcement early this year to open new entry and exit points in Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) says a lot about the transformation of the unpretentious suburb into a favourite living destination in Dubai. A family-friendly community, JVC features villas, town houses, apartments and various amenities that cater to all the needs of its residents. With several projects under way, the community of 20,000 residents has been rapidly expanding and is expected to grow even bigger in the next few years.
The three new entry-exit points on Hessa Street are therefore a big relief to commuters. JVC will reportedly accommodate 300,000 people when all developments in the area are completed.
PW takes a look at two projects under way in JVC and see how they contribute to making the master development one of the most popular residential destinations in Dubai.
Developer Shaikhani Group says Gardenia Residency is a testament to its confidence in JVC as an attractive residential destination. “Gardenia is [the start] of our group’s 2025 vision,” says Mahmood Shaikhani, the group’s Managing Director, in announcing Shaikhani’s plan to build more projects in the master development. “Our plan is to invest Dh2 billion into property development until then. We have six plots in JVC fully paid. We want to construct [projects] one by one, reaching the 30 per cent construction milestone before starting the next. Nowadays people want to see something before they invest in a project.”
The Dh220-million Mediterranean-inspired G+4 residential building is designed by Dimensions Engineering Consultants. It has 133 units, ranging from studios to three-bedroom duplex penthouses, with designer interiors. The building will also have space for food and beverage and a spa.
“With its stuccoed walls, tiled roofs, rustic arches, expansive balconies and lush surroundings, you will be transported to the rustic shores of the Mediterranean,” promises Shaikhani.
The apartment prices start at Dh1,000 per square foot. Half of the amount is payable during construction and half within a year after handover. The developer has also recently negotiated financing options with banks.
“[Half the amount] can be paid in 12 months after handover or can be financed with a 10-year payment plan,” says Shaikhani. “If buyers are leasing their units while paying instalments, they will still make 20 per cent from their rental income.”
Around 40 per cent of the units are sold, according to the developer. The project is now around 30 per cent complete and is expected to be delivered in June 2018.
“We have investors who pre-booked units. If someone wants to buy in quantity, there’s room for negotiation. We’re, however, mainly selling to end users and this section is mainly low-rise,” says Shaikhani.
The developer says its next projects in JVC will include another G+4 building, two G+16 towers, a G+10 and G+30. The developer plans to finance construction with the income from its Dh1.5-billion portfolio under development in Dubai Sports City (DSC) and Dubai Silicon Oasis.
“We’ve recently handed over Frankfurt Sports Tower and most of our projects in DSC are ready for completion this year. Our plan is to take the money from the handover and reinvest it in JVC,” says Shaikhani.
Enthusiasm for JVC
Property buyers seem to concur with the developer. Private investor Ilina Maria points out that location is very important when she looks for property.
“In this case the location is right in front of a park. I am buying one property and a friend of mine is buying five units,” she says, lauding Gardenia Residency’s design, finish and its low-rise build.
“I’ve known the Shaikhani group for many years, my friends and I invested in Champion Tower and Frankfurt Tower, and in total five projects.”
Farnia Pourazizollahi also sees strong prospects in JVC. “In Dubai, JVC and Business Bay are the best locations in my view. [You get] high returns in Business Bay and JVC is less built-up and has a lot of landscaped areas. I have plans to buy more in JVC. It’s so well-connected,” explains Pourazizollahi, who also points out that being a mid-market development adds to JVC’s appeal.
“This means the price is good. Now is the right time to buy. We get the best offers. In the future prices will go up,” she says. Pourazizollahi, who bought an entire floor in Gardenia Residency, also likes the property’s location, which offers views of the parks and close to entry and exit points.
“If the market goes up I will sell, if not I will rent it out,” she says. “I believe I will be able to sell at a 20-30 per cent [profit] at least when everything in JVC is ready by 2020. If I would have to sell property in the next two years, [the profit] may be less at around 5 per cent, but the rental yield is more than 10 per cent.
She adds: “It’s worth buying. How much money do we make in interest when we put the money in the bank?”
In choosing Gardenia Residency as an investment, she says she considered the price, views and facilities.
“It’s a great project because it’s low-rise, it feels nearly like a villa project,” she says. “Facilities are easy to get in Dubai, every place these days has a gym, sauna, pool, but they are important.”
Myra Properties is targeting young expatriates with its latest project, Crystal Residence, as it eyes expanding its portfolio in JVC. The developer is putting a premium on space in the design of the low-rise apartment building.
The property’s amenities include a large oval swimming pool and tennis court on its 30,000-sq-ft podium, and a designer lobby that adds a touch of luxury. “We are trying to offer the maximum in the space we have,” says Akash Kanjwani, Deputy CEO of Myra Properties. “A tennis court for example makes the development more lively, which is of immense value.”
Kanjwani says the term affordable housing is being overused, so he would rather describe his project as luxury or fine living targeting the mid-market millennial buyers. “It does cater to something which is affordable, but gives a little luxury element such as extra space, quality of construction and facilities, and we keep the cost at the market price,” he explains. “We’re talking about Dh800 and Dh950 per square foot, based on net area.”
Kanjwani believes that millennial homebuyers will be eager to snap up the apartments. “Many millennials have moved here already,” he says. “The World Expo 2020 will create a lot of jobs [for millennials], who will be looking to move into their first own home as rentals are high. A 1,000-sq-ft one-bedroom apartment rents out for Dh75,000-Dh80,000, and a smaller one for Dh65,000 in JVC right now.”
The building offers 225 units, 142 of which are studios. There are 50 one-bedroom units with duplex option, and a few two- and three-bedroom duplex apartments with terraces or gardens. Exclusively sold by Sky View Real Estate Brokers, the apartments start at around Dh382,000.
“Properties in JVC start from Dh350,000 for studios to Dh4.5 million for villas catering to all segments, but we cater to the middle income with smaller but high-quality apartments,” says Kanjwani. “The end users are trying to buy now.”
Expecting around 40 percent of buyers to be end users and 60 per cent investors, the developer says it will take the project to the international market. Kanjwani believes studios ranging from 420-570 sq ft are what investors are looking for as they offer higher returns.
“More spacious apartments come at a price,” says Kanjwani. “People choose smaller studios because at that price point your rental return could be 13 per cent, the highest in the world.”
He points out that a small studio would rent out for Dh40,000-Dh50,000 in JVC. A larger one could attract rents of up to Dh55,000. Buyers can expect to pay service charges of Dh10-Dh12 per square foot and don’t have to worry about district cooling charges. “This avoids conflicts between tenants and landlords. Rents are coming down, but maybe not as fast as expected, and only in areas with luxurious property, not in affordable areas,” says Kanjwani.
The developer is offering two payment plans. One requires 50 per cent to be paid during construction with the other half on handover. The other scheme entails 10 per cent on booking, 15 per cent after six months and 50 monthly payments of 1.5 percent payable from January 2017 to February 2021.
“Most banks would finance 50 per cent at handover over a period of 10-12 years. However, at salary caps of Dh12,000 to Dh15,000 not every bank is comfortable lending. That’s why we created the second payment plan to help those people [who want to buy property],” Kanjwani explains. “Payments will include interests, a variation of around 5 per cent compared with the first payment plan.”
The developer says it has funds for the construction of the Dh150-million project, which is expected to be completed by April 2018. Emsquare has been appointed as the main consultant and Dubai Walls is fencing the site. The developer is evaluating tenders for the main contract, which will be signed during Ramadan.
“We built our first project, Botanica, without [off-plan] selling. It was completed on time and is now 98 per cent sold. Our main motive is to build quality on time,” Kanjwani says.
The recently handed over Botanica, also located in JVC, is similar to Crystal in terms of interior design and finish. The developer is readying a Crystal Residence show apartment, which will be ready in September. Located in District 11, Crystal Residence is close to Hessa Street and is right across Circle Mall, which is expected to open in September 2017.
Kanjwani says four more projects will be launched in JVC in 2017-18.
Source: Nicole Walter, Special to Property Weekly