We take a look at the property market in the UAE capital during the first quarter of the year
Abu Dhabi rents in Q1, 2018: All you need to know
What was the general market movement?
After housing rents fell by up to 10 per cent in some areas of Abu Dhabi in 2017, property consultants predicted that they would continue to drop throughout this year, albeit at a lesser rate as oil prices stabilised and government spending ramped up.
However, according to a new report by Asteco, apartment and villa rates decreased on average 3 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively, in Q1, marking an annual year-on-year fall of 11 per cent and 9 per cent.
The report said the ongoing decline in rents was due to the continuous delivery of new supply "during a period of restrained economic growth and subdued market sentiment". It noted that vacancy rates increased across all residential unit types.
Which new developments opened?
For residents in the capital, there are plenty of shiny new buildings to choose from spread across the city. About 1,600 units were delivered to the market in Q1, including Ansam on Yas Island, Al Hadeel at Al Raha Beach and Muhaimat Tower on Reem Island.
New project announcements in recent months included the Al Fahid Island Master Development by Al Nahda Investment, and the Reflection Towers scheme on Reem Island by Aldar. Furthermore, the Saadiyat Grove development, in the heart of the cultural district on Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island, by Aldar and Emaar, was unveiled amid the developers' strategic tie-up.
What is the expected supply for the remainder of the year?
As with the past couple of years, projects earmarked for handover may well not make it to the market just yet. Asteco says that 7,300 units are lined up for completion before the end of the year but "previous delivery patterns suggest a number of these are likely to be delayed and will spill over into 2019".
The supply is expected to come from Reem Island (2,500 units), Yas and Saadiyat Island (1,800 units) and more than 1,650 units on the mainland.
Last year, 3,000 apartments and 750 villas were completed.
Where can I expect to get a good deal?
For house hunters, apartment rents at the upper end of the market on Reem Island have tumbled the most, according to the data, with a fall of 17 per cent year-on-year in the Shams area, and 14 per cent at Marina Square. For those preferring a villa, rents at Saadiyat Beach Residences are down 10 per cent year on year, and 11 per cent at Al Raha Gardens.
Tenants will also find that some landlords are now willing to rent out their properties for 12 monthly payments, rather than the typical one or two.
The National understands that an entire tower on Reem Island will be rented out for 12 monthly payments when it is released in the next couple of months.