x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai property slump to slow

Dubai house prices fell by 24 percent in the second quarter from the prior quarter but the pace of decline slowed.

DUBAI // Dubai house prices fell by 24 percent in the second quarter from the prior quarter but the pace of decline slowed, in line with improving global property markets, Landmark Advisory said on Sunday. Prices fell less in the same period in Abu Dhabi, as the UAEs' capital, home to most of the country's oil, continues to weather the global downturn better than its neighbour. The average sale price for villas in Dubai fell 24 per cent while apartments declined 17 per cent, Landmark said.

Prices for villas and apartments fell 32 per cent and 23 per cent respectively in the first quarter from the fourth quarter, the firm said in its May report. Dubai's once-booming property sector has been hit hard by the global financial crisis, but the pick up in more mature markets such as the US and Britain, is starting to cheer investors. Prices in the US rose in May for the first time in three years while prices in Britain gained for a third month running in July. House prices in Dubai are likely to stabilise by the fourth quarter, after falling 9 per cent in the second quarter from the previous quarter, Colliers International said last week.

Rents for villas in Dubai fell 19 per cent to Dh220,350 (US$59,980) in the second quarter, while apartment rents dropped 23 per cent to 129,900 dirhams, Landmark said. Transaction volumes rose 25 per cent and 20 per cent respectively as more people relocated to Dubai from the neighbouring emirates of Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, it said. In Abu Dhabi, sales prices fell by up to 11 per cent for apartments in the second quarter and 8 per cent for villas compared with the previous quarter, but prices are unlikely to suffer further significant declines, the report said.

The rate of decline also slowed as prices for both categories fell 20 per cent and 30 per cent respectively in the first quarter from the fourth quarter, Landmark said in May. Rents for both apartments and villas fell by roughly 10 per cent in the second quarter, it said, adding average rents would likely fall significantly as more supply enters the market. Landmark Advisory is part of real estate brokerage and consultancy Landmark Properties, which has offices in the United Arab Emirates and London.

*Reuters