Women buyers are an active part of Dubai's real estate market and they continue to represent a growing share of total buyers. In Q1 2018, 2,431 female investors participated in 2,780 transactions and invested Dh4.4 billion in the Dubai property market, according to statistics from the Dubai Land Department.
They cumulatively invested Dh27 billion in the property market in 2017, as per DLD data.
"According to recent Q1 2018 figures reported by the DLD, women investors accounted for almost 30 per cent of the total number. We see a higher percentage of these acquisitions to be investment driven, mostly as a second/additional home within the family," says David Godchaux, Group CEO of Core Savills.
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"Investing in property is no longer solely a man's domain; women all over the world are becoming more active in investing. This is dependent on their salary income and risk appetite. However, women relate more with investment in property than other investment avenues such as stock and shares. Your mindset and appetite is also going to differ if you are a professional woman working in a senior position making these sort of decisions daily opposed to a stay-at-home mum who is not comfortable in making these decisions. It's about getting the right advice to suit each circumstance," suggests Zarah Evans, managing partner, Exclusive Links Real Estate Brokers.
"The Dubai real estate market attracts women from European countries in particular. They are buying for investment mainly, though the ones who have been buying over the longest period could look to buy as an end-user now that the prices are low and there is a lot of ready stock available," advises John Stevens, managing director of Asteco.
There are also GCC buyers along with second generation Arab and South-Asian purchasers, particularly those holding Western passports.
As end-users, women are mostly involved in transactions for the family based on location, budgets, schools and other conveniences. Their preferred areas for purchases are Dubai Marina, Downtown, Jumeirah and Business Bay, says anecdotal evidence.
"Other popular areas at present are Jumeirah Village Circle, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Arjan and Sports City. Each of these areas are priced competitively and are good locations. They used to be on the periphery of Dubai, but now due to the increased growth of Dubai, they are well within the borders of the urban built-up area," observes Stevens.
Female investors invariably prefer to opt for well-priced apartments in good locations. Studios and 1-bedroom apartments are still the favourite to buy because of their price points. Investors are also price and location-driven at the moment.
"Preferences change depending on what stage of life they are in. The young and the senior prefer apartments due to convenience, however those with young families look at townhouses and villas. Townhouses have been a big success for the value of money that is built in to these purchases. Townhouses on Al Qudra Road [Meera/Nsahama, etc.], Mudon and Dubailand have been the most sought-after properties for young families. Rent or buy, they offer very good value for the money invested," reckons Sanjay Chimnani, managing director, Raine & Horne.
While any property below Dh1 million is popular with the investor, end-users whose monthly family income is Dh30,000+ are looking at townhouses in the range of Dh1.2 million to Dh1.6 million.
"Most end-users are residents who have lived in Dubai for 3+ years and feel comfortable to make an investment and plan for the long run," adds Chimnani.
"Although exact data for transaction values is not available, women most likely account for properties in mid-market and upper mid-market category. With the total value of transactions by women smaller than that of men, it is likely that male buyers choose a larger range of price points compared to female buyers," says Godchaux.
"The actual opportunity and ability for women to invest in property here in Dubai is no different to men. The most important consideration for women buying property in Dubai is the ongoing protection of that asset. When purchasing real estate in the UAE, always try to do so through a jointly owned foreign company. A lawyer can advice on this together with clarity on the UAE inheritance laws. Protect yourself with a will registered at the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry which is designed to ensure non-Muslims with assets in Dubai can bypass Shariah law when it comes to succession and inheritance," concludes Evans.
By Deepthi Nair
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