The capital values of villas and apartments in Abu Dhabi rose to their highest level in five years in the fourth quarter of 2021, underpinned by a broader recovery in the UAE economy, according to property consultancy ValuStrat.
The ValuStrat Price Index (VPI) for Abu Dhabi, which monitored five villa communities and five apartment areas in the emirate, jumped 11 per cent on an annual basis to 70.2 points in December. On a quarterly basis, it grew 2.1 per cent.
VPI is a valuation-based index that tracks the change in capital values for a representative fixed basket of properties.
Although Abu Dhabi's residential capital values outperformed 2019 figures by 1.7 per cent, prices are still 29.8 per cent below 2016 levels, according to ValuStrat.
For villas, the highest annual capital gains were recorded in Al Reef (13.5 per cent), Saadiyat Island (13.5 per cent) and Al Raha (12.9 per cent), the consultancy said.
The top performers in the apartment category were located on Al Reem Island (10.4 per cent), Al Muneera Island (9.8 per cent) and Al Bandar (8.4 per cent).
The property market in the UAE, the second-biggest Arab economy, has made a strong recovery from the coronavirus-induced slowdown as the country’s economy benefits from a number of business and social reforms.
Pent-up demand and improved investor sentiment have also helped to drive property sales, particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, amid the pick-up in economic activity.
New initiatives, such as visas for retirees and the expansion of the 10-year golden visa programme, are expected to support the local property market, according to industry experts.
About 4,182 apartments and villas were completed across 18 projects at the end of the fourth quarter of last year. This constituted 34.3 per cent of all newly built units that were in the pipeline for the year, the report said.
Al Raha Beach and Yas Island accounted for 30 per cent of newly built units while Al Reem Island contributed to 24 per cent of overall units.
Notable apartment completions during the fourth quarter were Al Ghadeer Phase 2 (611 units), Al Raha Lofts (278 units) and Marina Rise Tower (234 units), the report said.
The average residential asking price per square foot in the fourth quarter of 2021 was up 1.9 per cent from the previous quarter and up 8.6 per cent annually, according to ValuStrat.
Overall, citywide residential asking rents increased 3.1 per cent annually and 2.3 per cent from the previous quarter.
Villa rents rose by 2 per cent annually and by 2.6 per cent from the three months ending September 30, 2020. Apartment rents were up 4.1 per cent on an annual basis and 2.1 per cent over the third quarter of last year, the report found.
The average annual rents for two-bedroom villas was Dh112,000 while three-bedroom and four-bedroom villa yearly rents were Dh134,000 and Dh210,000, respectively, ValuStrat said.
The average yearly rent for a studio apartment was Dh51,000 while that for a one-bedroom apartment was Dh80,000. Two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartment rents were Dh116,000 and Dh160,000, respectively.
Residential occupancy in Abu Dhabi was estimated at 81.9 per cent during the quarter.
Meanwhile, fourth quarter asking rents for offices in Abu Dhabi’s primary commercial districts declined 6.2 per cent from the previous three-month period and by 8.5 per cent annually, ValuStrat said.
The average occupancy for buildings in the city’s central business districts stood at 84.4 per cent, it said.