Capital values for villas and apartments in Dubai surged in the fourth quarter of last year as the UAE economy charted a strong recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to real estate consultancy ValuStrat.
The ValuStrat Price Index (VPI) for Dubai, which monitored 13 villa communities and 21 apartment areas in the emirate, jumped 16.6 per cent on an annual basis to 76.3 points in December. On a quarterly basis, it grew 5.1 per cent.
VPI is a valuation-based index that tracks change in capital values for a representative fixed basket of properties.
For villas, which account for nearly 13 per cent of the residential market in Dubai, the highest annual capital gains were recorded in comparatively older gated communities such as Arabian Ranches (34.1 per cent), Jumeirah Islands (33.9 per cent), The Lakes (31.2 per cent) and Palm Jumeirah (27.6per cent).
The top annual performers for apartments were located within well-known communities such as the Palm Jumeirah (17.3 per cent), Jumeirah Beach Residence (14.6 per cent) and Burj Khalifa (8.7 per cent).
Dubai, the commercial and trading centre of the Middle East, was forecast to expand 4 per cent in 2021, primarily thanks to a successful pandemic response and management.
Total estimated completions of residential properties as of the final quarter stood at 24,196 apartments and 5,767 villas in Dubai, equivalent to nearly 53 per cent of the preliminary estimates for this year, the report said.
Notable apartment completions were Damac Hills Bellavista (1,555 units), Sunrise Bay Emaar Beachfront (879 units) and Hera Tower Dubai Sports City (529 units). For villas, Villanova Amaranta 1 (565 units), Akoya Oxygen Zinnia (499 units) and Casa Via Serena 3 (494 units).
The fourth quarter also registered the highest residential quarterly transaction sales volume in history with 7,107 off-plan sales. It was up 112.3 per cent on an annual basis totalling Dh15 billion. There were 8,129 ready sales, growing 55.2 per cent year-on-year to Dh20.6bn.
Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen - Q3, 2021
Demand for larger living spaces continued as average areas of homes purchased last year increased to 191 square metres, compared with 177 sq metres in 2020 and 142 sq metres in 2019.
The property market in the UAE, the second-biggest Arab economy, has made a strong recovery from the pandemic-driven slowdown as the country’s economy improves on the back of fiscal and monetary measures.
Pent-up demand and improved investor sentiment have also helped to drive property sales, particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, amid the pickup in economic activity. New initiatives, such as visas for expatriate retirees and the expansion of the 10-year golden visa scheme, are expected to support the local real estate market, according to industry experts.
Dubai office capital values increased 17.3 per cent year-on-year in the October-December period. The VPI rose to 69.7 points, passing pre-pandemic levels, but still 30.3 per cent lower than 2015, ValuStrat said.
Office space in Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Dubai International Financial Centre recorded their highest annual price gains of 19.1 per cent and 18.9 per cent, respectively, it added.
Residential occupancy in Dubai was estimated at 83 per cent during the quarter.
Overall, citywide residential asking rents increased 18.9 per cent annually, ValuStrat said. Average annual rents for two-bedroom villas stood at Dh117,000, three bedrooms at Dh166,000 and four bedrooms at Dh235,000,
The average rent per annum for a studio apartment was Dh38,000, while a one bedroom was Dh57,000, two bedrooms Dh81,000 and three bedrooms reached Dh126,000.