Abu Dhabi rents decline again in Q1 but some units buck the trend

Rental and sales prices were a mixed bag over the first quarter, says Bayut.com

Villas in Al Reef, a residential area adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport. Andrew Henderson / The National
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Residential rents in Abu Dhabi dropped by as much as 22 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, although there were some exceptions, according to property portal Bayut.

“The Abu Dhabi property market heavily favoured renters and buyers in the first quarter,” Bayut said in a soon to be published report.

The UAE property market has declined steadily in the past two years following a three-year slump in oil prices but the market is expected to bottom out later this year before starting to recover in 2019, experts say.

Both apartments and villas across most neighbourhoods in Abu Dhabi saw rental and sales prices decrease compared with the same period in 2017, Bayut said. The biggest rental drop was recorded in Hydra Village on Al Reem Island, where 3-bedroom villa prices fell by 22.7 per cent and were being offered for an average price of Dh85,000 a year.

Two-bedroom apartments in Al Reem registered the second-largest drop, of 16 per cent, according to Bayut.

Rents for four-bedroom villas in Khalifa City fell by 8.5 per cent, while five-bedroom villas in Al Raha Gardens declined by 8.2 per cent.

For villas, categories that bucked the trend were three-and five-bedroom villas in Mohammed bin Zayed City, which registered increases of 9 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively, and three-bedroom villas in Al Mushrif, which rose by 2.8 per cent.


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For apartments, the only category that had an increase was the studio market in the Corniche, where prices increased by 7 per cent.

“Price decreases in the rental sector will allow tenants to upgrade to larger spaces, move to a new district, or, take the plunge into property ownership, with softening prices making it a more affordable option,” the report said.

In the first three months of 2018, studio sales prices in Al Reef plummeted by 20 per cent, and two-bedroom apartments in Yas Island fell by 16.3 per cent.

There was, however, an increase of 0.3 per cent for 3-bed villas on Yas Island, and the outlying district of Al Ghadeer, where prices for two-bedroom villas rose by 9 per cent.

Al Ghadeer, close to Dubai's eastern border, is being extended by landowner Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi’s biggest listed property firm. It unveiled a Dh10 billion master-plan to transform the neighbourhood into a 3 million square metre mixed-use scheme called Al Ghadeer over the next 10 years.