Property prices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are bottoming out and there is no room to drop prices any further by developers and landlords, say analysts and industry executives.
They say that the secondary market stock will remain challenged by newly-delivered and off-plan stock and also keeping sales prices under pressure.
"Whilst a recovery is yet to be seen in Abu Dhabi residential property, we are reaching a pricing floor where developers and landlords, particularly those who are leveraged, may not have room to drop prices any further - albeit, translating to a bottoming out of the market," says Prathyusha Gurrapu, head of research and advisory at real estate consultancy Core.
With limited future supply, she sees downward pressure on existing inventory is easing in the UAE capital. "Secondary sales prices continued to weaken across most apartment and villa communities, eight percent on average across the city over the past 12 months. Prices in various communities such as Al Raha Beach, Yas, and Saadiyat Island saw relative resilience with a lower levels of drops, displaying a preference for newer and quality build products. We continue to see a flight to quality and affordability from both end-users and investors," Gurrapu said in its latest update.
Currently, the total Abu Dhabi residential stock stands at 264,000 units. Core predicts an additional 1,000 units are scheduled to be handed over in Abu Dhabi by 2019-end, however, some of these deliveries may be pushed to early next year. Looking ahead in 2020, it expects over 5,000 units to be delivered.
Muhammad BinGhatti, chief executive officer of Dubai-based BinGhatti Developers, also doesn't see further drop in prices in Dubai. "We're at a stage of bottoming out. I don't really see room for a downward slope now. Prices are either going to rise or remain stable in the coming period for several reasons - fiscal policies, ease of visa norms and fall in the cost of living."
Francis Alfred, managing director, and chief executive officer of Sobha Realty, also see real estate prices almost bottoming out. "Prices are as low as 2010-11 level. Contrary to what the market says, there is an increase in transaction volume. The speed at which projects were happening earlier is not going at the same pace. If developers become disciplined, the market can be much more stable in terms of cash-flow. We ensure not to stretch the limit of vendors and stakeholders to maintain the stability of the supply chain," Alfred said.
Dubai Land Department reports revealed that real estate transactions in the emirate rose 12 percent in 2019, compared to the same period last year. Property Finder data showed that on November 24 witnessed an 11-year high in terms of the number of overall property transactions registered in Dubai in a single day. A total of 515 real estate transactions cumulatively worth Dh888.3 million were registered in Dubai on the day, the highest since 2008 when data became publicly available.
Alfred noted that there has been a positive impact on Dubai property as launches have softened following higher committee came into being to maintain supply-demand balance.
Walid Al Zarouni, chairman of W Capital Real Estate Brokerage, said Dubai's real estate sales curve is on the rise as the Dubai Expo 2020 is less than a year from now. He noted that new laws and regulations introduced during the past few years will stimulate the real estate sector and accelerate its growth during the next year.
He echoed that the real estate market in Dubai offers better opportunities for both investors and tenants alike during the third quarter of this year.
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