Luxury Home Prices Rise At Fastest Rate On Record, With Dubai Leading At 44% In A Year

Press release
Published March 1st, 2022 - 06:46 GMT
Luxury Home Prices Rise At Fastest Rate On Record, With Dubai Leading At 44% In A Year
Knight Frank Middle East
According to The Wealth Report, Knight Frank’s latest research report – prime prices in Dubai accelerated 44% in 2021

According to The Wealth Report, Knight Frank’s latest research report – prime prices in Dubai accelerated 44% in 2021, sending the Emirate to the top of Knight Frank’s Prime International Residential Index 100 (PIRI 100), which analyses prime price performance in 100 city and second home markets worldwide. Following seven years of negative price growth and with overall prices still 30% below their 2014 peak, the Emirate’s relative value came into focus in 2021.

Faisal Durrani, Partner – Head of Middle East Research, added: “The relentless demand from the world’s wealthy has fuelled a spectacular turnaround in the fortunes of Dubai’s residential market, with the decisive handling of COVID-19 by the authorities attracting the attention of global investors. And in a sentiment driven market, this has helped to spectacularly mark the start of the city’s third property cycle. It’s unlikely the growth of 2021 will be repeated this year, but with such limited prime stock, the top end of the market still has room for growth”.

Andrew Cummings, Partner – Head of Prime Residential at Knight Frank Middle East commented “Dubai’s status at the top of the Prime Price Index is not a surprise. In the post-Covid landscape, ultra-high net worth buyers have descended on Dubai in very large numbers and whilst their initial visits have been fuelled by the UAE’s handling of the pandemic, their decision to purchase property in the Emirate has been fuelled by something entirely different. Dubai’s investments in world class infrastructure, health and education, coupled with the exceptional lifestyle and amenities, from the world’s best restaurants and hotels have helped transform the city into a destination that people want to own a property in. To add to this, at the top end of the market, quality is now the watchword with developers building super-prime properties to cater to the demands of the global elite, who over the last year have shown themselves eager to own a home in Dubai.

With price growth of 42%, Moscow came in second place, Russia’s mortgage subsidy programme and tight supply fuelled price growth, albeit temporarily. San Diego (+28.3%), Miami (+28.2%) and The Hamptons (+21.3%) make up the rest of the top five.

The value of the Knight Frank Prime International Residential Index increased by 8.4% in 2021, up from just under 2% in 2020 - its highest annual increase since the index launched in 2008. Of the 100 luxury markets tracked, only seven saw prices decline in 2021 and a staggering 35% of locations saw prices increase by 10% or more, underlining the strength of the sellers’ market during the pandemic.

Overall, the Americas were the regional top performer, accounting for six of the top ten rankings and posting average growth of almost 13%. Although, Asia-Pacific (+7.5%) outpaced the EMEA region (+7.2%), this was largely driven by Australasia (+12.3%). Asia alone managed a relatively modest rise of 5.5% growth. 

Although sunshine resorts from Miami to the Gold Coast shone bright in 2021, with prices climbing 10.2% on average, it was cities that provided this year’s curveball. Overlooked in 2020 as suburbs and resorts attracted those looking for space to hunker down during the pandemic, the city bounced back in 2021, averaging price growth of 8.4%. Covid-19, it would seem hasn’t triggered the ongoing flight from bustling urban centres that some were predicting. Even ski resorts, which have in recent years posted fairly frosty results saw average price growth climb to 7.2% in 2021 – Aspen, St Moritz and Verbier were the top performers.

What’s driving demand?

  • Low interest rates, the availability of cheap finance
  • A shortage of prime stock
  • Rising wages and accrued savings in lockdowns
  • Strong-performing equity markets and record bonuses
  • A reassessment of housing need and lifestyles
  • More flexible working patterns
  • Wealth creation – 5 million new millionaires in 2021 globally
  • Growth of co-primary living, heightened demand for second homes
  • The appeal of property as an inflation hedge

Analysing the future of prime price growth in 2022, Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank said: “Far from running out steam, this year we will see the luxury housing boom endure. Dubai, Miami and Zurich lead our 2022 forecast, with prime prices expected to end the year between 10% and 12% higher. Asian cities are expected to trail slightly, but even here, prices will grow. Key themes to watch: Agents will complain about stock shortages, buyers will complain about rising taxes and cooling measures, and city markets will be back in demand.” 

Knight Frank’s Prime International Residential Index (PIRI 100)

Luxury residential market performance, annual price change December 2020 to December 2021

All price changes are in local currency.




Annual % change











San Diego








The Hamptons
















San Francisco




Los Angeles


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