Dubai's luxury home sales hit a record in 2021

Emirate recorded more than 52,000 apartment and villa transactions worth $31.09bn, says Knight Frank

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Luxury homes sales in Dubai last year hit their highest level since 2015, with 93 homes worth more than $10 million sold as several wealthy international buyers tapped into the emirate's post-coronavirus recovery.

The growth was led by ultra-high-net-worth buyers from India, Russia and Europe, including buyers from Switzerland and Monaco, property consultant Knight Frank said in a report on Tuesday.

“The international elite continue to have an insatiable appetite for Dubai’s most luxurious homes. 2021 accounts for 39 per cent of all $10m-home sales in Dubai since 2010,” said Faisal Durrani, partner and head of Middle East Research at Knight Frank.

Dubai’s overall residential market recorded more than 52,000 apartment and villa transactions worth Dh114.2 billion ($31.09bn), more than the total for 2019 and 2020 combined, the consultancy said.

The UAE’s property market has recovered from the pandemic-induced slowdown on the back of government initiatives such as residence permits for those who have retired, a rapid vaccination programme and the expansion of the 10-year golden visa programme.


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People also moved to larger homes with outdoor amenities amid a surge in remote working and online learning.

The increase in wealthy buyer demand pushed luxury home prices up by 44 per cent in prime areas such as Emirates Hills, Jumeirah Bay Island and Palm Jumeirah last year, Knight Frank said earlier this month.

“Dubai’s handling of the pandemic has fostered an overwhelming sense of positivity, which we see reflected in the market and in economic performance,” Mr Durrani said.

Average residential prices increased 9.2 per cent in 2021, recording the quickest pace of growth since January 2015, said Knight Frank.

While villa prices rose 21.2 per cent, last year’s growth in the property market was “heavily moderated … to a very large extent” by the performance of apartment values, which rose 7.2 per cent, the report said.

“The pandemic fuelled the race for space,” it said.

The most expensive home sold in 2021 was a $32.9m villa on Jumeirah Bay Island. It was purchased by a European buyer last summer.

The value of property deals in Dubai more than doubled last year and breached a 12-year record in terms of sales transactions, buoyed by demand in the secondary real estate market, according to Property Finder.

The prices of apartments in Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, rose 23 per cent last year as wealthy people continued to buy property in Dubai.

Updated: March 08, 2022, 11:57 AM