Real Estate

Appeal for villas surges in Dubai as prices, rents soften in first half of 2020

Issac John /Dubai Filed on July 15, 2020
dubai rents, dubai real estate, covid-19


As per the Dubai Land Department's data, 15,897 sales transactions were recorded in Dubai between January to June 2020, amounting to a total value of Dh32.5 billion.

Appeal for villas witnessed a remarkable upswing as property prices and rents in Dubai's popular neighbourhoods remained fairly stable in the first-half of 2020 despite the severe fallout of the pandemic lockdown, according to data released on Wednesday.

Overall,  the realty market experienced minor declines of below four per cent when compared to prices in the second-half of 2019, showing the resilience of the Dubai real estate market, a combined report released by Bayut and dubizzle, reveals.

"Landlords and sellers have become more open to negotiations than ever before as a result of the unpredictability Covid-19 has brought to the market," said the report.

As per the Dubai Land Department's data, 15,897 sales transactions were recorded in Dubai between January to June 2020, amounting to a total value of Dh32.5 billion.

Haider Ali Khan, CEO of Bayut and dubizzle, said Dubai's property sector has adapted and stayed resilient during the pandemic, with the brokerage community turning to innovative virtual tools to facilitate real estate activity and stay connected with prospective buyers and tenants.

"The combined traffic to Bayut and Dubizzle during the months of May and June were as high as 6.9 million and 7.3 million sessions respectively, reflecting the growing interest in the real estate sector post the lockdown and trust for the advanced virtual property solutions provided by our platforms," said Khan.

"The concept of a home has also perhaps evolved in the face of the pandemic. We have seen that there is sustained interest in the market, especially for established villa communities. Right from the initial phase of the restrictions in March 2020, we noticed over 42 per cent increase in traffic for villas listed for sale on Bayut, which further increased by more than 25 per cent in April," said Khan.

He said it is easy to understand the appeal of such private homes in light of the heightened need for living arrangements with safe accessible outdoor spaces, irrespective of any lockdown. "Overall traffic has also almost doubled since March 2020 with more and more people re-evaluating their housing choices."

Arabian Ranches has claimed the top spot among buyers and investors interested in ready villas in Dubai in the first-half 2020, followed by Palm Jumeirah and The Villa.

"You will be surprised that even during this period of lockdown when we are all confined in our homes, people were actually buying homes, thanks to the brokerage community innovative virtual tools to facilitate real estate activity. I personally feel that there could be a strong revival of investors coming back into the real estate sector," said Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group.

Haleema Al Owais, CEO of Sultan bin Ali Al Owais Real Estate, said Dubai real estate has been rather volatile since much before the pandemic. "The latter part of the year will be a time of consolidation for the industry and will see the prices stabilise at certain levels across all areas in the emirate, similar to other metropolises like London and Lisbon," she said.

The average price-per-square-foot in Arabian Ranches has seen a minor increase of 1.6 per cent in the first half, rising from Dh882 to Dh896.  The sales price-per-square-foot for villas in the next most sought after area, Palm Jumeirah has remained largely unchanged, averaging at Dh2,027. Similarly, price per square foot in The Villa has also remained competitive for buyers and investors, reducing marginally from Dh669 to Dh648 in the first-half.

In the case of ready apartments, Dubai Marina has continued to dominate the interest of buyers and renters. 

Mirdif has remained the most popular neighbourhood for rental villas in Dubai in the first half of 2020. The average rental cost for three-bedroom villas in Mirdif went down marginally by four per cent from to Dh95,000 in 2020 first-half.

The rent for four and 5-bedroom villas have remained stable, averaging at Dh115,000 and Dh123,500 respectively. Established communities such as Jumeirah, The Springs and Arabian Ranches have seen rental costs remain largely unchanged in the first half of 2020, said the report.


Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.

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