Real estate sale prices, rents on the rise in February

The realty prices and rental values in Dubai and Abu Dhabi continued to rise in February with substantial increases in a month on month comparison, says a report on ‘Real Estate Trends’ by National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

By Haseeb Haider

Published: Tue 18 Mar 2014, 8:29 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:30 PM

The bullish sentiments prevailed in both emirates, despite a significant supply of housing units to the market. The positive sentiments continued to have their impact on the property market, in the year.

According to report issued on March 13, average residential listed sales prices in Dubai, in February 2014, increased by 34.9 per cent year-on-year. Villas were the preferred unit types, and prices in locations such as Arabian Ranches are currently around 20 per cent less than the record values. By the end of the first half of 2013, Dubai had approximately 370,000 apartments and 60,000 villas. During the last year, approximately 20,000 additional apartments and 3,500 villas were delivered making the total reach to almost 400,000 residential units.

Almost 45,000 additional residential units are expected to be completed in Dubai by the end of 2015. New supply will control the rate of price and rental growth, said the NBAD report. The Dubai real estate market, after declining for more than 40 months since September 2008, peak values, started to recover in May 2012. The recovery in Abu Dhabi started much later, in January 2013.

In February, rents continued to soar in Dubai. International City and The Greens experienced the highest increase of 63 per cent year-on-year and 36 per cent, said the report. International City, which has 485-low-rise buildings, saw rents growing by 63 per cent year-on-year to Dh74.4 per square feet. Sale price in the affordable area grew 60.5 per cent to Dh740 per square feet.

The up-market Jumeirah Lake Towers had a 2.3 per cent rise in rents in a month-on-month comparison and 45 per cent growth in year-on-year. The prices in the posh locality are 20 per cent less than the peak achieved in 2008. JLT rents grew 25.8 per cent year-on-year to Dh89.5 per square feet.

According to the Dubai Land Department (DLD), in 2013, the total amount of real estate transactions recorded in Dubai Property sector reached Dh236 billion and total number of transactions reached soared 53 per cent to 63,652. In 2013, sales accounted for half of the total value of transactions, the share of mortgages were 46 per cent.

UAE nationals took the lead with investments worth 21 per cent of the total, Indians were second with investments worth 15.8 per cent and British nationals came third with investments worth 9.12 per cent followed by Pakistanis with 7.5 per cent. The NBAD report predicts rents to cool down to 20 per cent in the year, as 20,000-25,000 new apartments are scheduled to be delivered in the period.

In Abu Dhabi, 8,500 new apartments were delivered in 2013. The positive sentiment since the beginning of the year is driving sales prices up. Average sales prices grew 29.65 per cent year-on-year to Dh1321 per square feet. Removal of the rental cap allowed a sharp rise in rents in newer developments to 19 per cent year-on-year. Many old buildings were fully occupied due to rental cap removal in the main Island, according to an NBAD report research note.

During 2014, the market will transition into free-market and higher quality building rents will increase at a faster rate than older units in the capital city.

Al Raha Beach development, which will house 120,000 people in Al Zenia, Al Bandar, and Al Muneera, saw sales prices grow 3.4 per cent month-on-month in February and a 26 per cent growth year-on-year.

According to the report, limited availability in high-end areas caused rents to increase in recent months. As of February, the rent per square foot rose 14.55 per cent year-on-year to Dh95.45, with a rental yield of 7.4 per cent. However, the Al Reef area which has 2,000 villas and 1,500 apartments are high in demand for ‘value for money.’—

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