Strong sales performance in Q4 paves way for a solid start in 2021 as investors are back in the market
Dubai real estate looks set to stage a strong rebound this year following solid performance in fourth quarter of 2020 due to the government’s policy initiatives and stimulus to restore the investor confidence in the economy, experts say.
Referring to latest data released by the Property Finder group, analysts and industry stakeholders said Dubai property market experienced a brisk activity during the October-December 2020 quarter as the investors are back in the market.
Dubai property market posted sales worth Dh22.07 billion through 11,065 transactions during the fourth quarter of 2020 as against Dh24.11 billion sales through 12,377deals in the same quarter last year.
After a slow start in first quarter of 2020, the market sustained an upward trend in sales activity as it recorded Dh10.8 billion and Dh18.23 billion sales in second and third quarters, respectively, through 5,521 and 8,867 transactions in April-June quarter and July-September quarter last year.
Latest monthly data for December indicates that sales worth Dh6.12 billion recorded through 2,485 secondary and ready transactions, reflecting a growth of 9.7 per cent over November 2020. The last few months in 2020 have been outstanding for the secondary market with November and December both breaking the secondary/ready market transactions records for the past seven years.
Lal Bhatia, a Dubai-based investor, said the fourth-quarter performance of the UAE real estate market is but obvious and in fact predicted by those with a close eye on the global economic recovery pace in light of the pandemic.
“Dubai and the UAE’s response to Covid-19 has been exemplary and future will certainly favour economies that can venture into the post-Covid era the quickest. Dubai’s pole position in this regard has certainly instilled a sense of confidence amongst residents and foreign investors alike,” Bhatia said.
“Add to that other favourable moves by the nation’s leadership like 100 per cent business ownership and long-term visas and we can surely expect the next quarter to outshine the previous one,” he said.
According to Data Finder, the real estate insights and data platform under the Property Finder group, Dubai recorded Dh72.49 billion sales through 35,434 transactions in 2020 as compared to Dh80.99 billion earned through 40,132 property deals in the corresponding period of 2019, reflecting a year-on-year decrease of 10.6 per cent in sales and deal value due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As per details, approximately 14,749 of the total transactions were for off-plan properties and 20,685 were for secondary/ready properties. In terms of value, off-plan properties recorded sales worth Dh20.31 billion while secondary/ready properties earned Dh52.18 billion last year.
Haleema Al Owais, CEO, Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Real Estate, said the past year came with many things unexpected, however the results of fourth quarter are not one of them. “Covid-19 has had an impact on every geography but it is how every country handled the pandemic that determined the trust factor it enjoys within its citizens and foreigners. With Europe medical framework collapsing, UK going from bad to worse and lets not talk about the USA which can best be described as a disaster, the UAE’s ability to curb, manage and control the pandemic is something that has been observed by everyone across the world,” she said.
“From free PCR tests at airports and free vaccination the exemplary path that the UAE took towards recovery is the reason we are one of the first countries in the world to welcome tourists like we always did in the past. The resident expat population as well as international investors have started to consider UAE as an obvious investment destination and to make UAE their forever home as opposed to a transitional stop. We can surely expect this trend to continue over the coming years and bigger and better things for all industries and not just real estate,” she added.
April and May 2020 were the lowest months historically for secondary sales because of the lockdown in Dubai, but since the ease in restrictions the secondary residential real estate sales have been on a rise, peaking in November 2020 with 2,179 sales transactions and then in December with 2,485 sales transactions. The highest in six years and nine months.
Looking at overall mortgages for 2020, there were a total of 12,978 transactions worth Dh87.39 billion. Almost 100 per cent of these were for secondary/ready property market. “This increased shift in ready property is something we have seen throughout the year as more and more people are now opting to buy a place to live in, rather than rent,” according to Data Finder.
Lynnette Abad, Director of Research & Data at Property Finder, said residents have always been hesitant to purchase property here in Dubai, they didn’t know if they would stay here for a long period of time nor what their situation would be.
“It’s been a reaction of many scenarios in 2020 which have caused the secondary/ready market to excel; proactive government initiatives, affordable housing prices, residents looking for more space or to upgrade because they are spending so much time at home and more supply to add to the offerings,” she said.