Homefront: 'Is now a good time to invest in Dubai's real estate market?'

The Dubai resident wants to invest in the market and wants to know which areas are popular

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , April 17– 2020 :- Yachts parked near Dubai Marina Mall in Dubai. Dubai is conducting 24 hours sterilisation programme across all areas and communities in the Emirate and told residents to stay at home. UAE government told residents to wear face mask and gloves all the times outside the home whether they are showing symptoms of Covid-19 or not.  (Pawan Singh / The National) For News/Online/Instagram
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What areas are good to invest in? I am interested in buying in the residential market when prices are on the floor. Which places people are moving to and what are the current trends in Dubai's real estate market? AC, Dubai 

The time to invest in the Dubai property market could not be better. Anyone who can 'flash the cash' so to speak, will have a wide choice of options. When buying in today’s market, the first decision is whether to buy ready or nearly ready property or under-construction/off-plan units?

Buying under-construction property via a developer can bring many benefits in terms of the payment. Many developers offer attractive payment plans with some deferring full payment into post-handover plans. The developer often also pays for the Dubai land department (DLD) fees and the agent's commission too. The disadvantage is obviously the fact that the property is not ready yet and sometimes delays do occur due to unforeseen situations, thus delaying your return on investment (ROI) by not being able to rent it out.

Buying ready property on the secondary market offers a wide selection of benefits: the asking prices can be very attractive and of course you can rent out the property immediately as it is a ready unit. The negatives are the buying fees, such as the transfer fee and agent's commission, all have to be added to the purchase price.

In terms of which areas to concentrate on, Dubai Marina is always the most-popular area for expatriates whether they are renting or buying. The cheaper option could be Jumeirah Lakes Towers, which is located on the other side of Sheikh Zayed Road.

Dubai Marina caters for secondary and primary markets in that it has ready and under-construction units available.

When it comes to off-plan or newly constructed, I suggest you look at the Dubai Hills estate. This is an up-and-coming area, where you can find apartments, town houses and villas. The area is served by all amenities any discerning resident is looking for, such as a large mall, high-end retail, restaurants and cafes, schools, a hospital, metro, open spaces and great road links.

With regards to new property trends, the interesting fact is that buyers and tenants have started to search for properties with their own outside spaces – possibly in light of the movement restrictions we have been facing. Townhouses or villas form part of this trend, as they have their own gardens, and if the properties have their own pool, so much the better. Even apartments are included in these searches, but only those that have balconies or terraces.

Should the situation we are dealing with now ever happen again, residents – whether owner occupiers or tenants – want to have more outside space, especially if they have children, to be able to endure any future period of isolation.

Mario Volpi is the sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers. He has worked in the property sector for more than 35 years in London and Dubai

The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for information only. Please send any questions to mario.volpi@engelvoelkers.com