Signs of Dubai home prices stabilising

Asteco's latest report on the Dubai property market received almost no coverage, which is not surprising. "Nothing has changed!" the data screamed.

That doesn't make for dramatic headlines. But it's still news in Dubai, where any sign of stabilisation is a sharp contrast to the steep price declines of recent years.     

Asteco's research showed zero changes in sale prices or rental rates from the previous quarter in any of the major Dubai neighbourhoods, except for a 2 per cent drop in rental rates from the third quarter in International City.

Although no specific data was available, Asteco concluded transaction activity picked up in recent months, "due to increased job security and market confidence."

But Asteco warned that the stable market may not last. Another 12,000 homes--10,700 apartments and 1,300 villas--are scheduled for completion in the first half of 2012. About 5,000 of those units will hit in Mirdif, International City and Dubai Silicon Oasis, where prices were sliding earlier this year.

"Although sales prices are bottoming out for some properties, Asteco believes that premiums will only be achieved for a select few units with added-value components," the company reported.

Sales activity will continue in the new year, although prices will see "marginal declines, predominantly for areas with ongoing construction and incomplete infrastructure".

The additional supply should be good news for renters.

"Competition between landlords will continue to result in various incentives being offered to potential tenants," Asteco forecast.

Published: December 12, 2011 04:00 AM