Nakheel Sees Future in Low-to-Mid-priced Housing
DUBAI — Luxury properties for the city’s high-flying elite may have been the staple of Dubai developers for the last few years, but the future may lie in low-to mid-priced properties, a senior Nakheel official has said.
Johann Schumacher, Managing Director of Palm Jumeirah, said that with falling demand for high-end properties, Dubai is a “changing market”.
Two weeks ago, HSBC reported that Dubai property prices fell 23 per cent in December from a peak in September.
Research firm Landmark Advisory announced on February 1 that residential prices could fall by as much as 50 per cent in some areas.
“We are looking at where the demand lies in the market today,” Schumacher told the Khaleej Times. “We have a diversified portfolio which includes low-to mid-priced properties. This is a changing market.”
His comments came as he announced the handover of more than 900 properties in the exclusive Marina Residences development on Palm Jumeirah.
The six residential towers of the high-end development overlook a stylised marina area and comprise a range of apartments and extravagant penthouses. However, Schumacher said that while the market is changing, there had been no shortage of demand for the properties. He said that out of 950 properties in the development, only 70 remain unsold.“These properties remain a solid investment for the years to come,” he said. “Everyone likes to live next the sea so they will remain popular.”
He added that he did not believe the sudden handover of so many apartments would create an oversupply and drive down prices.
So far, over 4,000 residents have moved into villas and apartments on the Palm Jumeirah.
The Marina Residences development will include a marina area with room for 500 vessels to berth. The marina, which is the first of many Nakheel will build over the coming years, requires approval from Jafza, but is expected to be available for the first owners in time for the handover in April.
In December 2008, Nakheel said it had frozen construction of the 62 storey, Dh2.8 billion Trump Tower development at the foot of the Palm Jumeirah. However, Schumacher said that the project would not be scrapped altogether. Schumacher did not specify whether the hurdles to the project involved construction costs or falling hotel occupancy rates. However, he clarified that Trump Tower was both a high-end residential building and a hotel. “We had to look at a variety of factors,” he said.In two to three years, Nakheel officials predict that there will be 30 high-end hotels available on the Palm Jumeirah including ventures by Kempinski and Jumeirah Group. This year Nakheel will handover 2,200 villas and townhouses in Jumeirah Village.