Investing in Dubai Hills Estate can't go wrong

Investing in Dubai Hills Estate cant go wrong
In collaboration with Meraas, Emaar is rolling out Dubai Hills Estate, a community that will be built around a large golf course in Umm Suqeim Road. -

dubai - Buyers can expect enduring property value and desirability

By Shadi Zand

Published: Tue 9 Aug 2016, 7:30 PM

Last updated: Tue 9 Aug 2016, 9:32 PM

I remember an investor who had bought 13 off-plan villas in Emaar's Meadows development years ago for very low prices but he was so worried about the future that he kept only two of them. At the time, Dubai was still very centred around the Creek and the Meadows seemed remote.

"There is nothing there, it is all sand," he'd said. When Emirates Living area was ready (Springs, Meadows, The Lakes and Emirates Hills), he regretted not keeping all of his villas as their values skyrocketed. Now, the Meadows is considered a central suburb and highly desirable.

In collaboration with investment group Meraas, Emaar is now rolling out Dubai Hills Estate, a community that will be built around a large golf course in Umm Suqeim Road, which like their earlier Emirates Living district, includes housing from luxury villas in the Dh30 million range to mid-range villas, townhouses and apartments for as little as Dh1 million. The development is located north of Emirates Living, just inland from Al Barsha, promising to become a next generation version of their very successful formula.

When Emirates Living was introduced, freehold was new, the city's international profile was lower and Emaar was not so well-proven as today. Together, these factors contributed to a higher perception of risk and this is why my friend had been able to purchase his Meadows off-plan villas at very low prices.

Today, Emaar is a proven developer of high-quality housing and the Dubai Hills Estate is a relatively central location. Thanks to this, buyers should expect to pay more for off-plan, promising returns that are solid rather than stellar, and this is appropriate given the lower risk.

Design has evolved
Dubai Hills Estate's architectural design reflects experience and progress after many years of development. There is more use of glass and a more open and inviting interior flow to floor plans compared to older styles. Emaar tends towards a more conservative approach and is known for the high quality of its construction and fit-out and well-integrated communities.

An investment in Dubai Hills Estate is likely to be a winner, whether you are looking for income and capital gain or for a pleasant home in a well-designed community. Just as the older Meadows and Springs still remain sought-after locations, buyers in Dubai Hills Estate should be able to count on enduring value and desirability.

There is always the question of off-plan versus ready property. End-user buyers may not have the patience for off-plan property purchase. For investors, no income is possible until handover. Many developments remain construction zones with noise and disturbance for some years after phase one residents have moved in.

There are many existing suburbs with excellent communities, greenery, parks, barbecue and swimming facilities, and for the end user, these may be more desirable purchases. For those with longer horizons, it's hard to go wrong with Dubai Hills Estate.

The crash of 2008 taught off-plan buyers some harsh lessons, one being that not all developers are equally reliable. During the preceding boom, 'cowboy developers' had been able to plan and sell off-plan properties with little project capital. Developers are more closely regulated today.

Buyer installments must be deposited into escrow accounts overseen by the Dubai Land Department, with funds only released to developers for legitimate construction-related expenses, confirmed by independent oversight. Still, it remains true that when investing, it pays to look carefully into the track record of the developer, and Emaar has a very solid reputation.

The writer is senior property consultant at Coldwell Banker. Views expressed are her own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.

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