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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Dubai’s most expensive communities to rent or buy

While Emirates Hills is the most expensive villa community, Downtown Dubai is the priciest apartment community

A square foot in Emirates Hills costs 243 per cent more to buy than the median asking price in Jumeirah Village Circle, according to Propertyfinder. Courtesy: Luxhabitat
A square foot in Emirates Hills costs 243 per cent more to buy than the median asking price in Jumeirah Village Circle, according to Propertyfinder. Courtesy: Luxhabitat

Emirates Hills is the most expensive villa community to buy or rent a property in Dubai, according to Propertyfinder Group, which has analysed the emirate’s priciest areas.

According to the real estate portal, those looking to buy in the luxury villa community would shell out Dh2,604 per square foot to live there. Palm Jumeirah takes second position at Dh2,437 per sq ft, while The Lakes community, which sits next to Emirates Hills, comes in third at Dh1,369.

“Even with real estate prices dropping across the country, luxury living still comes at a premium," Propertyfinder Group said in a report on Monday.

Graphic: Propertyfinder Group
Graphic: Propertyfinder Group

A square foot in Emirates Hills costs 243 per cent more, and in Palm Jumeirah 221 per cent more, than the median asking price in Jumeirah Village Circle, the least expensive area in Dubai, Propertyfinder said.

The three top communities for purchasing villas are also the top three most expensive villa communities to rent, with Emirates Hills costing tenants Dh80 per sq ft, Palm Jumeirah Dh75 per sq ft and The Lakes Dh74 per sq ft.

Residential sales and rental prices in the UAE continued to fall between April and October, encouraging renters to consider buying properties, according to Propertyfinder Group's 2017 Trends study released last month. Real estate prices and rents in the UAE have fallen over the past two years due to the economic slowdown, job cuts and lower housing allowances amid an increase in supply in some communities.

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Mario Volpi, the chief sales officer at Kensington Exclusive Properties, said Emirates Hills continues to attract wealthy buyers "due to its exclusionary and privileged trademark and it has been the ambition of many to own a villa in this sought after community".

Graphic: Propertyfinder Group
Graphic: Propertyfinder Group

Those looking for a deal on a luxury apartment may also struggle. Downtown Dubai, the most expensive apartment community to rent in, costs tenants Dh117 per sq ft, also making it the most expensive rental community in the emirate overall, 31 per cent more costly than Dubai's median rental price of Dh89 per sq ft.

Old Town was close behind at Dh115 per sq ft and The Views, which is located next to the Greens, comes in at Dh109 per sq ft.

Graphic: Propertyfinder Group
Graphic: Propertyfinder Group

Buying an apartment in a luxury area is also a costly option with Downtown Dubai the most expensive community at Dh2,132 per sq ft, followed by Old Town at Dh1,965.

"Downtown apartments command a higher rate per square foot than the average due to the fantastic lifestyle the area has to offer," said Mr Volpi. "It is already a world-class destination but it continues to be further developed and improved upon. Having the Burj Khalifa, dancing fountains, world’s largest mall, Dubai opera etc. all in close proximity, will obviously be the magnet to attract the well-heeled of Dubai."

Graphic: Propertyfinder Group
Graphic: Propertyfinder Group

Luxury areas such as Emirates Hills and Downtown Dubai, though, are not immune to price declines, in line with the overall market, according to Mr Volpi. Rents in downtown were on average 15 per cent higher in December 2016, compared with December 2017, he said.

"The trend for residential rents in 2018 is for a continuation of softening prices," said Mr Volpi. "There is likely to be more potential downward movement for Downtown due to the larger available choice of apartments and the likelihood of more inventory being released."

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