Popular Buying Locations in Dubai in 2018

Sale and rental prices continue to decline throughout most of Dubai in 2018, with some down as much as 10 percent year-on-year. Developers continue to offer enticing off-plan purchases and rent-to-own properties. There are some significant developments in both the sales and rental markets that are noteworthy.

2018 has seen a 30 percent drop in off-plan sales compared to 2017. The secondary market has largely stayed the same in comparison, with transactions numbering around 6,000 in the first half of 2017 and 2018.

There have been more than 750 off-plan villa and townhouse sales, reflecting a 70 percent drop from the same period in 2017. Townsquare, Akoya Oxygen, and Mohammed Bin Rashid City are leading in sales volume. Off-plan villa and townhouse prices remain competitive, with some offers amounting to as low as AED 900,000 for a two-bedroom unit. About 41 percent of off-plan villa and townhouse sales have been for less than AED 2 million, 47 percent being between 2,000 and 2,500 square feet. Forty-three percent of the sales covered units bigger than 2,500 square feet. Forty-five percent have been four-bedroom units.

So far, there have been almost 8,000 off-plan apartment units sold. The best-performing areas for these sales are in Business Bay, Mohammed Bin Rashid City, and Jumeirah Village Circle. Fourteen percent of transactions were for units costing less than AED 500,000. Forty-one percent were at more than AED 500,000 but less than AED 1 million. Tenant demand for smaller apartments is increasing, as reflected by the fact that 42 percent of sales were for units smaller than 500 square feet. Certain trends continue, such as most sales being for studio apartments or one-bedroom units, which are respectively 38 percent and 35 percent of total sales.

In 2018, tenants have gained more of a foothold to negotiate for lower rent prices by using one-check payments. This trend makes it likely that the rental market will move toward a renewed popularity of single lump-sum payments made annually. So far this year, more than half of all rental transactions were made with a single lump-sum payment. This was a striking change from 2017 when half of the rental payments were made in four checks. Tenants are more and more negotiating for incentives before signing, including a month of free rent, free utilities, and vouchers. This shows that tenants have powerful bargaining power with renters, a trend that seems poised to continue.


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