Values weaken, but rents hold

Midtown ProjectMidtown by Deyaar will feature 27 buildings that share a one-level podium and have a 1km green concourse. Afnan district is the first phase in Midtown offering studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with prices starting at Dh397,000 l Image Credit: Courtesy of Deyaar

A further slowdown in Dubai property values was witnessed in August, with 60 per cent of real estate agents reporting a drop in average sold prices over the past three months and only 13 per cent indicating an increase, according to the Emirates NBD Dubai Real Estate Tracker. Softer market conditions were also reflected in the latest new buyer enquiries data with 54 per cent noting a decline over the past three months.

The latest survey nonetheless pointed to a rebound in confidence regarding the outlook for the next 12 months, with 45 per cent of agents expecting a rise in average property values and 30 per cent forecasting a reduction. A separate survey of Dubai households also revealed that 65 per cent expect rising property values during the year, against just 17 per cent who anticipate a fall.

In the lettings market, real estate agents reported both a rise in newly agreed rentals and increasing levels of new enquiries over the three months to August. Robust demand patterns contributed to upward pressure on rents, with the latest survey suggesting an especially strong increase in apartment rental prices.

“While the slowdown is partly seasonal, other factors including concerns about the economic outlook and US dollar strength have weighed on demand,” said Khatija Haque, Head of Middle East and North Africa Research at Emirates NBD. “However, the lettings market remains robust both in terms of the volume and price, suggesting that population dynamics are supportive of the sector.”

During the three months to August, 60 per cent of Dubai real estate agents noted a drop in average sold prices, while 13 per cent signalled a rise. Anecdotal evidence cited generally subdued market conditions in comparison to earlier this year and a wait-and-see approach from buyers amid uncertainty about the regional economic outlook. Some survey respondents also noted that rising supply had placed downward pressure on sold prices.

The report also suggested that lower international new buyer enquiries were a key factor weighing on demand conditions. Measured overall, the rate of decline in new buyer enquiries was slightly faster than that seen in the previous survey period.

Source: Property Weekly


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