Cluttons, the real estate specialist that has enjoyed a dedicated Middle Eastern presence since 1976, today offers a review of property activity in Dubai in 2011 as we move into the final weeks of the year. Overall the buzzword for the commercial, hospitality and residential markets has been ‘selective stabilization’, and a general move towards market maturity. A brisk start to business is predicted in January 2012, with the effect that Cluttons has recently engaged ten new staff members to meet demand in the New Year.
Despite the negativity arising from the ongoing economic turmoil in Europe and the US, Cluttons notes that the Dubai real estate market ends the year with more positivity than seen in the previous three years. The high end residential sector in particular seems to be benefitting from ongoing capital shifts in the region as a result of the Arab Spring, whilst commercial occupier interest now appears to be slowly improving as a consequence of the cost savings available in what remains a tenants or buyers market. Where prices have continued to fall, the rate at which they are decreasing seems to have slowed throughout the year bringing a feeling that they are close to bottoming out.
Cluttons has also identified a general maturing of the marketplace in 2011; demand now originates from variables that one would expect in any established city, with specification, finish, location, amenities and a sense of community far more prevalent in a buyers mind compared to those purchasing property three or four years ago. Equally, landlords are becoming more flexible in their terms, which is another feature of a maturing market, as landlords recognize the value of reducing vacancy levels rather than holding our for a higher rent and reducing the changes of securing a good tenant.
In legislative terms, a key announcement over the past 12 months has been the announcement of 3 year residency visas offered to owners of properties worth 1million dirhams or more in all freehold areas, a move made by the government to lure investors back into the marketplace. Cluttons in the UAE is well placed to cater to such demand; and has recently engaged ten new joiners across the valuation, logistics and residential sales teams.
Of the expanding team, Steven Morgan, Head of Cluttons in the UAE comments, “We are encouraged by the stabilization seen in certain areas of the UAE’s residential and commercial real estate market and have staffed our team accordingly for 2012. It gives me great pleasure to welcome our new team members to the office, and have every confidence that their combined experience and skills will help us maintain our values of international best practice, professionalism and innovation, and allow us to continue to adapt to the ever-evolving Middle Eastern marketplace.”