It's been a good time for tenants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi during the past 12 months as rents have tumbled and landlords have been more open to negotiation.
And the market slide has stretched to Sharjah and the rest of the Northern Emirates, with an average decline of 11 per cent year on year across the area, according to a new report from Asteco.
Apartment rents were down 1 per cent on average during the first quarter, while the biggest drop was for high-end units in Ajman which fell 3 per cent.
High-end units in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah fell 8 per cent and 10 per cent respectively year-on-year.
“We expect a further pressure on apartment rental rates, as recovery rates in the Northern Emirates are directly impacted by the delivery of supply in Dubai,” said Asteco managing director John Stevens.
Thousands of new units have become available in Dubai during the past year, pushing down rents by double digit amounts in many areas of the city, and thousands more are in the pipeline for the rest of 2018.
In years gone by, when rents in Dubai were higher, many residents would move further north and commute to save on expenses, in turn leading to more stability in the rental rates in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates.
In Sharjah, the most significant drop was in Rolla where rents dipped 4 per cent in the first three months of the year.
Rents fell by 14 per cent year-on-year in Al Wahda, 13 per cent in Abu Shagara, 9 per cent in both Rolla and Al Yarmook, and 7 per cent in Al Butina, according to the report.
No major residential projects were added in Q1, but Sharjah expects new residential supply to come from the completion of Nasma Residences Phase 1 and Al Zahia Residences by the end of the year.