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Dubai Real Estate Review

Overall property transactions in Dubai totalled Dh204 billion in the first nine months of 2017, according to the Dubai Land Department (DLD) data released on Monday. This was done through 52,170 transactions.

This compares to Dh259 billion worth of property deals achieved for the full year 2016 and Dh132 billion in the first half of 2017.

“Transactions have increased this year compared to 2016 mostly due to the success of off-plan transactions. By August of this year, the number of off-plan transactions had already exceeded the total amount of off-plan sales in 2016. This trend will continue into next year as many new projects have been announced and buyers, both investors and end-users, have been very receptive to off-plan sales due to attractive price points and payment plans,” Lynnette Abad, partner and head of Property Monitor, told Khaleej Times.

“If we consider historic trends for the last few years, we find that the volume of transactions during the fourth quarter of every year is higher than the quarter before it. As per our calculations, Dh72 billion worth of real estate transactions were made during Q3 2017. Given the exponential growth of off-plan transactions as compared to ready properties, it would be highly likely that the total transaction value for this year will surpass Dh259 billion which was the figure for 2016,” said Haider Tuaima, head of real estate research at ValuStrat.

Land sales accounted for the lion’s share of transactions at Dh143.4 billion from 11,169 transactions, while deals involving entire buildings were 5,014 transactions for Dh12.7 billion. Residential units accounted for Dh48.7 billion through 36,000 transactions.

Suggesting more end-user activity in the market, there were 11,699 transactions that were financed through mortgages, valued at Dh102 billion. Palm Jumeirah accounted for most mortgages with 578 transactions exceeding Dh11.4 billion, followed by Business Bay with 596 transactions worth Dh4.6 billion. Dubai Marina ranked third with 777 transactions worth over Dh3 billion.

Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director-general of DLD, said: “The data shows increasing demand across all property categories, including land plots for various forms of real estate development, as well as buildings and residential units. We expect the market to remain on this upward trajectory of sustained growth. The momentum of the market is being driven and sustained by several factors but particularly the upcoming Expo 2020.”

Business Bay and Dubai Marina remained top investor picks, accounting for 2,754 and 2,596 transactions respectively. Al Barsha South also attracted investor attention with 2,418 transactions.

But in terms of value, the Burj Khalifa district reigned, with 1,650 transactions accounting for a sizeable Dh6.2 billion. Business Bay was placed second with Dh5.6 billion worth of transactions, and Dh5.4 billion for Dubai Marina.

Sharing his outlook for the fourth quarter, Tuaima added: “There will be continued delivery of new residential stock, mainly in eastern and southern parts of Dubai. Rents will become increasingly attractive to Dubai’s workforce currently living in the northern emirates. There are further signs of appreciation in prices for ready properties in some parts of Dubai, though continued high volume of off-plan sales may slow down the recovery process.”

The majority of agents surveyed by Property Monitor are predicting apartment and villa/townhouse prices as well as rents to decrease further in Q4 2017. “In terms of transactions, 63 per cent of agents expect new buyer enquiries to increase while 56 per cent expect an increase in the number of agreed sales,” added Abad

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