An apartment in the world's tallest building has hit the market priced at Dh25 million (US$6.8m), testing the appetite for luxury properties in Dubai.
The four-bedroom apartment is on the 87th floor of Burj Khalifa and includes the highest residential terrace in the tower. It is one of only six four-bedroom apartments in the Burj Khalifa with terraces.
"There are only six of these units in the world and there will be a premium to be paid," said George Malakos, an agent with Elysian Real Estate who is marketing the apartment.
Sales of Dubai's most expensive apartments have been picking up in recent months, agents say. An 11,000 square foot apartment in the Index tower sold for Dh14.5m and two 12,000 sq ft units covering full floors in the D1 tower on Dubai Creek sold after they were each listed at Dh18m.
Villas in Dubai routinely sell for Dh30m and more these days, but it is harder to find trophy apartments available in the top towers.
Sales of such apartments are "much, much better than last year and the year before", said David Terry, the sales manager of Luxhabitat, which specialises in the luxury market. "Demand is higher than supply."
More high-quality apartments have started to hit the market in recent months as owners who bought during the building boom look to cash in, industry experts say. Last month a three-bedroom apartment in The Address with a view of the Burj Khalifa fountain hit the market priced at Dh20m, said Mujtaba Virani, a sales consultant with Better Homes.
"It is my opinion we're in the beginning stages of a bull run in the Dubai property market," Ms Virani said. "Inquiries for such apartments are increasing, primarily from India, Iran and the surrounding GCC countries."
The Burj apartment is not the most expensive unit in Dubai. A 13,200 sq ft apartment covering an entire floor in Le Reve, a tower in Dubai Marina, is priced at Dh72m.
The Le Reve apartment has been on the market for several years and was once priced at Dh95m, agents say. A half-floor apartment in the Le Reve is on the market for Dh65m.
But the 3,963sq ft Burj apartment, with its high profile address, is pushing the boundaries with a price tag that works out to more than Dh6,300 a sq ft. A similar four-bedroom apartment with a terrace and 4,128 sq ft of space on the 64th floor is on the market priced at Dh19m.
"It's a very high price per square foot," Mr Terry said. "Most people willing to spend Dh25m want some space for their money."
Mr Malakos declined to offer any details of the owner of the Burj apartment, except to say he is a chief executive of a Hong Kong-based company. His family rarely used the apartment, the agent said.
Although price per square foot is high, he noted a four-bedroom apartment without a terrace in the Burj Khalifa sold for Dh17m earlier this year. And some units were selling for Dh8,000 to Dh10,000 a square foot at the height of the market.
Today the average price for an apartment in the tower is closer to Dh2,700 to Dh3,000 a square foot, although units in the Armani-designed portion of the building can sell for Dh4,500 to Dh5,000 a square foot, agents say.
"If you've got something special and it's something people will want as trophy, you will get people to pay up to Dh5,000 a square foot," said Mark Towers, the managing director of Edwards and Towers, a property company. "Six thousand a square foot is probably … a little optimistic for this time of year."
But few doubt that the right buyer will pay the price to get the apartment. "When you get to that level you're buying with your heart," Mr Towers said.