Average apartment rents in Abu Dhabi fell by 7 per cent in 2016 while villa rental rates dropped 10 per cent amid continuing low economic growth, job losses and cost cutting measures, according to the Abu Dhabi Residential Market Update Year in Review 2016 report from leading international property agency Chestertons Mena.
“Redundancies and the shrinkage of the oil and gas sector continue to place pressure on the demand in the market. Tenants are seeking lower rental rates as housing allowances have been reduced,” said Robin Teh, UAE country manager/director valuations and advisory UAE, Chestertons Mena.
Apartment rents, on average, declined by 1 per cent in Q4 from the previous quarter, with Al Ghadeer the only area remaining resolute, while Al Reef Downtown dropped by an average of 3 per cent from Q3 and 11 per cent year-on-year. Apartment rentals in Al Bandar, Al Zeina and Al Reem Island, all fell by around 8 per cent, on average, throughout the year.
Villa rentals dropped by an average of 2 per cent in Q4, but the overall picture for 2016 was one of significant softening across all areas. Villas in Al Reef, Al Raha Gardens and Saadiyat Island witnessed average rental decreases of between 10 per cent and 12 per cent.
On the sales front, average apartment prices dropped by 1 per cent in Q4 2016 from the previous quarter, with the Al Ghadeer and Al Reef Downtown areas both displaying an above average decline of 2 per cent. While apartments in Al Ghadeer, Al Bandar and Al Muneera all witnessed year-on-year (YoY)average declines of 3 per cent.
On average, villa sales prices fell by 2 per cent from Q3 to Q4 and 6 per cent overall. Al Reef Island saw the greatest YoY drop at 6 per cent. Al Raha Gardens, Saadiyat Island and Khalifa City all fell 4 per cent from 2015 prices due to a quiet sales market, the report said.
Meanwhile, average yields for Q4 2016 remained stable since Q2 2016 and stayed flat at just above 5 per cent, it said.
Teh said: “There is a similar situation in Dubai, with residential sales and rental prices falling and yet yields remaining fairly consistent throughout the course of 2016. We expect the pressure on rents to remain throughout the first quarter of 2017 with the continuous cost cutting measures and job instability in the current market.”
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