Dubai enjoys record start to 2016

After stabilising in 2015, Dubai is enjoying a record start to the year, with property sales already passing £12.8 million.

Figures from the Dubai Land Department show that a record total of AED68.48 billion has already been transacted, painting a positive picture for the coming year. Indeed, they follow a downbeat 12 months for the emirate’s housing market, with many brokers reporting that house prices fell around 10 per cent and sales moderated. Now, though, the mood is improving, with experts arguing the market has stabilised.

“Sentiments are slowly turning around by way of snapping up “below market” deals as well as end users looking to capitalise on current conditions,” Sameer Lakhani, Managing Director at Global Capital Partners, tells Gulf News.

“It is the nature of the turnaround that will be debated in the coming months — but what we are seeing is a clear bottoming out process underway.”

That bottoming out of values could attract more investors seeking to purchase before prices begin to climb once more.

Gibran Y. Bham, Co-founder of Lookup.ae, adds: “Sellers listing their properties are finding it difficult to move properties at perceived market prices. We’re seeing sellers revise prices downwards to attract buyers who are now patient and intent on obtaining the best possible price points.

“The current correction has brought prices back to just before pre-winning Expo 2020 levels.”

Expo 2020 is certainly set to be a milestone for the emirate’s real estate market, with the exhibition also expected to provide a major boost to both activity and demand.

KPMG expects the market will recover in 2017 as work surrounding the 2020 event really gets underway,

“With effective regulations in place and the infrastructure investment that is committed as part of Expo 2020, we should see an upturn in the real estate industry in 2017,” Sidharth Mehta, partner and head of building, construction and real estate at KPMG Lower Gulf, tells The National.

“When preparation for Expo 2020 picks up, we expect to see a significant amount of job creation and an increase in demand for residential real estate.”

Sultan Butti bin Merjen told Emirates247 that more than AED68 billion of deals have been struck in the first 53 days of 2016, forecasting a total of AED300 billion to be invested in the market over the course of 2016.

Speaking at the Cinder Dubai 2016 conference, Bin Merjen added: “Investors are buying into the property market and we can see that, with registration of AED68 billion worth of deals from January to February 22 2016. In fact, we expect to touch AED300 billion in real estate transactions this year.”

“People talk of a correlation between lower oil prices and property, but we haven’t seen any such thing,” he added.

“People are buying and not all of them have any business with oil. There are a lot of investors with money who have trust in Dubai.”

The figures follow figures from the DLD showing that 55,928 investors from 150 nationalities invested a total of AED135 billion in Dubai real estate in 2015.