Prime property market in Dubai sees sales fall

Taylor Scott International News

Dubai luxury home prices remain relatively resilient despite a drop-off in sales activity, according to the latest analysis of the Emirate’s residential real estate market. Sales in Dubai’s prime segment, comprising properties worth over AED10 million, hit the lowest level since the end of 2012 in the final three months of 2014, the research document from international real estate firm Knight Frank shows. Despite this however, Knight Frank’s prime residential price index saw a relatively modest fall in the three months to December of 1.2% quarter on quarter, the second consecutive quarterly fall. Indeed an examination of the data shows that these two declines nearly reversed the increases seen in the first half of last year, leaving values just 0.3% higher year on year in the fourth quarter of 2014. Despite the lower level of transactional activity however, the nationalities investing in real estate in Dubai remained diverse. Data from the Dubai Land Department (DLD) shows that, in 2014, more than 140 nationalities bought property in the Emirate. A breakdown of the figures shows that Indians remained the top foreign property investors, spending around AED18.1 billion, while the British and Pakistanis invested AED9.3 billion and AED7.6 billion, respectively. Overall though, the Emiratis spending AED 22.8 billion were the leading real estate investors, accounting for approximately 21% of the total spent last year. Between 2013 and 2014 Indians and Saudis increased their levels of real estate investment in Dubai while the British and Pakistanis, as well as the aggregate of the remaining GCC countries, spent 1% to 12% less. The total level of real estate investment from all other countries also fell in 2014, by almost 5% year on year. An assessment of web traffic to’s website shows that around 44% of the total viewings in 2014 originated from the UAE. But the report points out that a significant proportion of these will have been expats. What’s more, another 18% of those clicking through to Knight Frank’s UAE website were doing so from the UK, while 7% were from India and 4% from the United States. As a proportion of the total, the level of web traffic from Russia also fell year on year in 2014 however, this did not come as a surprise since the rouble has nearly halved against the US dollar, to which the UAE dirham is pegged, since July, making it significantly more expensive for this nationality to buy property in Dubai. Finally, the strengthening of the US dollar and the weakness of the euro also means that demand from European buyers has also begun to wane, in turn adding further downward pressure on residential property prices in Dubai. Continue reading →

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