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Sales transactions cross Dh24bn in first quarter; Business Bay, Marina top apartment choices
Overall, the total value of non-Arab investment crossed Dh12 billion through 5,466 investors from 102 nationalities. (Shuttertsock)
Once again, investors from the Indian subcontinent have topped the list of expatriate investors in Dubai’s property market, as total transactions cross Dh64 billion in the first quarter 2015, according to the Dubai Land Department (DLD).
Indians topped the list of expatriate property investors, buying properties worth Dh3.04 billion.
British nationals came in second with investments worth Dh1.89 billion, followed by Pakistanis who bought properties worth Dh1.392 billion.
DLD Director-General Sultan Butti bin Mejren. (Supplied)
Iranians and Russians are also among the top buyers, with investments worth Dh633 million and Dh509 million, respectively.
Overall, the total value of non-Arab investment crossed Dh12 billion through 5,466 investors from 102 nationalities.
Emiratis were the biggest investors of all (topping the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) state list as well), buying properties worth Dh5.799 billion.
A total of 1,964 citizens from the GCC contributed Dh9 billion.
Saudi nationals came second with investments of Dh1.890 billion, followed by Kuwaitis with Dh500 million; Qataris with Dh522 million; Omanis spent Dh147 million and Bahrainis, Dh199 million.
Jordanians took the first place with transactions worth Dh708 million on the list of other Arab nationals. Egyptians came second buying properties worth Dh390 million; Lebanese, Dh505 million and Iraqi nationals Dh379 million.
They were followed by Yemen, Sudan, Palestine and Algeria, though no figures were revealed.
15 nationalities @ Dh3 billion
A total of 15 nationalities (1,220 investors) bought properties over Dh3 billion.
“The department is always keen on issuing the quarterly results of real estate transaction in Dubai for transparency that will help investors and customers in making decisions based on strong foundations,” said DLD Director-General Sultan Butti bin Mejren.
“The figures in this report are showing a well-established trust in our real estate market, as well as full preparations and readiness with for quantum leaps in the next few years to receive the Expo 2020,” he added.
Sales and mortgages
Sales and mortgages relating to land transactions were worth Dh52 billion with commercial land (already built on) deals amounting to Dh30 billion.
Buildings and unit transactions exceeded total value of Dh11 billion of which Dh8.41 billion were for housing units, business (commercial) units were worth Dh2.2 billion, and buildings were around Dh1 billion.
On the land sales front, Al Yafra 2 was the most attractive with value of its transactions reaching Dh1.467 billion.
It was followed by Al Hebya Al Thaletha with transactions worth Dh994 million and Al Warsan with deals worth Dh357 million.
As for mortgages of lands, Al Barsha South 1 came first with transaction worth Dh291 million, followed by Al Thunaya 4 and Al Thunaya 5.
Business Bay tops
As for unit (apartment) sales, the Business Bay area came first with value of transactions reaching Dh1.848 billion. It was followed by Dubai Marina with deals worth Dh1.181 billion and Al Thunaya 5 with Dh568 million worth of deals.
For unit mortgages, Dubai Marina topped the list with transactions worth Dh444 million, followed by Business Bay, Al Thunaya 5, Wadi Al Safa 2 and Burj Khalifa district.
For sale of buildings, Al Thunaya 4 topped all areas with transaction values reaching Dh172 million followed by Al Barsha South 4 with deals of Dh96 million.
Al Safa 6 came third with transactions worth Dh96 million.
For mortgages of buildings, Al Thunaya 4 registered transactions worth Dh115 million, followed by Wadi Safa 6 and Al Barsha South 4.
Dubai real estate continues to moderate at the start of 2015, according to agents, as prices and sales dip. But is the cool-down a cause for concern or a sign of the market maturing?
Sales stagnated in the first three months of 2015, according to Asteco’s latest report, with apartment sales down 3 per cent and villa sales down 2 per cent. Buyers are increasingly shifting their attention away from high-end projects to value-for-money units in completed, or almost-completed, developments.
The figures follow a year in which Dubai’s market cooled, thanks to measures designed to counter the booming rebound in prices after the financial crash. In the second half of the year, monthly sales averaged 828 per month, according to Deloitte, less than half the 1,700 recorded during the same period in 2013.
According to official figures from the Dubai land Department, the number of sales in Dubai fell almost 15 per cent in 2014 compared to the previous year. The value of deals also fell 7.6 per cent year-on-year.
While some may interpret the trend as a deflating bubble following such rapid growth, though, Deloitte arges the cool-down will ultimately boost confidence, rather than cause concern.
“While possibly not welcomed by traders and speculators, this new characteristic suggests a market that is in fact maturing and arguably strengthening,” says Robin Williamson, managing director, Deloitte Corporate Finance Limited.
The sentiment is echoed by Bayut.com, whose own market report notes that cooling measures continue to weigh on prices and sales, but also bring stability to the sector, which, in turn, is “boosting investors’ interest in the region”.
Official data from the DLD, meanwhile, reveals that total investment stood at 64 billion AED in Q1 2015, 4.6 per cent higher than the same period in 2014. Wealthy Indians led investment with 3.04 billion AED, followed by buyers from Pakistan (1.392 billion) and British investors, who splashed 1.892 billion.
Bayut.com highlights Dubai Marina as the most sought-after hotspot for buyers, followed by Downtown Dubai and Jumeirah Lake Towers.
Even with the apparent positive increase in interest, though, the portal’s overview highlights the mixed performance of property types in Q1 2015, as studio, 2 bed and 3 bed apartments saw moderate to good rises in prices quarter-on-quarter, while 4-bed and 1-bed apartments lost value and saw lukewarm demand.
Studio apartments experienced a 3.64 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in prices on the back of strong demand, while 2 bed and 3 bed apartment prices increased 1.11 per cent and 4.02 per cent respectively across Q1 of 2015, in comparison to the same time period in 2014.
The prices of 1 bedroom apartments, though, fell 2.77 per cent year-on-year and settled on an average price of AED 1,523,300. Four-bedroom apartments saw a very significant drop in prices, with a total year-on-year decline of 12.6 per cent.
Deloitte predicts prices in Dubai will soften by 1 to 5 per cent this year before finally stabilising.
Author – Dan Johnson