Four out of seven emirates in the UAE recorded Dh68.6 billion ($18.52bn) of real estate transactions in the first quarter of this year, a sign the property market in the Arab world’s second-largest economy is bouncing back from a pandemic driven- slowdown.
Property deals in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman reflect growing demand, with Abu Dhabi and Dubai recording 86 per cent (Dh59.2bn) of deals in the first three months of 2021, state news agency Wam said, citing data from concerned departments.
The UAE's property market softened in the wake of a three-year oil price slump that began in 2014 and oversupply concerns. Pandemic-driven headwinds put the sector under further pressure. However, the market is showing signs of a revival as cheaper valuations and lower borrowing costs attract investors.
Economic support measures and government initiatives, including visas for expatriate retirees, remote workers and the expansion of the 10-year golden visa scheme, have also helped to improve sentiment.
Pandemic-induced movement restrictions have also sparked demand for townhouses and villas, as end-users look to upgrade to larger spaces amid a rise in remote working and learning. Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi's biggest developer by market value, on Sunday said the third phase of its Noya project, Noya Luma, on Yas Island sold out within four hours. The developer plans to launch five more projects this year amid improving demand for properties.
Last week, Property Monitor reported that 81 villas with a value of more than Dh10m had been sold on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah within the first four months of the year, compared to 51 during the whole of last year.
"It seems Europe has woken up again to how much Dubai has to offer, and high net-worth Europeans are coming to the market in numbers we have not seen before," Richard Waind, group managing director of Betterhomes, said in the Property Monitor report.
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"These are buyers looking at Dubai as a long-term base and have been fuelling the over Dh10m market, with waterfront villas in particularly high demand."
Abu Dhabi accounted for 3,847 realty deals valued at Dh11.5bn in the first quarter of this year, Wam reported, citing the emirate’s Department of Municipalities and Transport data.
In Dubai, deals worth Dh47.7bn were registered in the first three months of 2021, a 47 per cent year-on-year rise, according to Dubai’s Land Department. Dubai, the commercial and trading hub of the Middle East, recorded a total of 5,800 real estate deals from January through to March. Momentum picked up in April, with DLD stating last week that Dh92bn of deals were done in the first four months – a 72 per cent increase on the same period last year.
Sharjah saw Dh6.7bn in property deals during the first quarter, a growth of 84.9 per cent from a year earlier. A total of 20,448 transactions were recorded during the period, according to the emirate's Real Estate Registration Department.
In Ajman, Dh2.7bn of deals were registered, according to the emirate's Department of Land and Real Estate Regulation, which also projected the emirate’s property market would pick up further over the coming months.