A Dh75m Dubai Hills villa is the emirate's most expensive property deal

Prime properties in the emirate saw a 49 per cent uptick in value during the third quarter, Luxhabitat Sotheby’s says

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A villa in Dubai Hills spanning 42,543 square feet that sold for Dh75 million is the most expensive property transaction to date in the emirate, according to a report by real estate brokerage Luxhabitat Sotheby’s based on data from the Dubai Land Department.

An Emirates Hills villa that sold for Dh69m was the second most expensive residential transaction of the year. Half of the most expensive properties sold so far this year were in Dubai Hills and District One, sub-communities in Mohammed Bin Rashid City, the brokerage said in a report released on Monday.

“We have seen demand rise for townhouses and villas as they are more appealing to end-users, especially those properties with good outdoor spaces and swimming pools,” said Andrew Cleator, managing director of Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty.

We have seen demand rise for townhouses and villas as they are more appealing to end-users

The sale of prime villas in Dubai doubled from 203 in the second quarter to 438 in the third quarter, the brokerage added.

“The Palm Jumeirah, MBR City District One, Arabian Ranches, Al Barari and Dubai Hills Estate among others have witnessed a significant spike in interest from end-users,” Mr Cleator said.

The property market in the UAE has become more attractive to tenants as average rental rates softened in the third quarter, real estate consultancy JLL said a report on Sunday. It added that house rents in Dubai are 12 per cent cheaper in the third quarter while the emirate’s residential sales prices are 9 per cent lower annually.

More than 2,297 apartments and 438 villas were transacted during the third quarter in Dubai’s prime residential market, a 24 per cent increase compared to the second quarter. The cumulative value of transactions in the prime residential market rose 49 per cent to reach Dh7.4 billion, compared with Dh5bn in the second quarter.

The top three areas in terms of sales volume were MBR City (Dh2.2bn worth of sales), Downtown Dubai (Dh1.2bn) and Palm Jumeirah (Dh1bn).

Nakheel’s Jumeirah Islands registered the highest growth in sales at Dh72.9m, 24 times higher than the second quarter, followed by Al Barari, which saw a five-fold growth in sales at Dh64.3m.

“Banks are currently offering low fixed-rate mortgages as well as higher loan-to-value rates. This has triggered a flurry of first-time buyer purchases as buyers now see the long-term benefits of owning opposed to renting,” added Mr Cleator.

The volume of secondary sales in Dubai’s prime residential market doubled quarter on quarter. The value of transactions in the secondary market was Dh6bn in the third quarter, compared with Dh2.7bn in the second quarter.

“As the off-plan segment hasn’t been able to absorb the capital with enough new releases, cash is diverted to the most stable secondary property markets,” said George Azar, chief executive of Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty.

The number of prime apartments sold in the secondary market doubled to 1,177 in the third quarter from 520 in the second quarter, while the number of villas sold more than doubled from 418 to 188.

The average price of an apartment in Dubai’s secondary prime residential market is Dh1.8m and a villa is Dh6m, according to Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty.