No place like Dubai for GCC home buyers

The UAE retains number one position as the most appealing country to invest in real estate in the world

Sixty nine per cent of respondents chose Dubai as the ‘go to’ city for real estate investment, with two thirds (66 per cent) expecting the impact of Expo 2020 to increase property buyer interest in the UAE.

It comes as no surprise that Dubai has been ranked as the most preferred city for property purchase globally in a survey conducted among GCC residents. This demographic has consistently ranked among the top investors pumping in money into Dubai real estate every year. The UAE has also retained its number one position as the most appealing country to invest in real estate in the world for GCC residents.

Around 45 per cent of GCC home buyers and real estate investors said they were most comfortable investing their money in the UAE, up from 42 per cent in 2016, while 63 per cent chose the UAE from among countries in the Middle East specifically. The study was conducted in partnership between YouGov and Cityscape Global.

Sixty nine per cent of respondents chose Dubai as the ‘go to’ city for real estate investment, with two thirds (66 per cent) expecting the impact of Expo 2020 to increase property buyer interest in the UAE.

The survey results come just ahead of the 16th edition of Cityscape Global which runs from September 11 to 13. With developers getting the go-ahead to conduct on-site sales on the show floor for the first time, they are expected to unveil several attractive payment plans and other incentives for investors and end-users this year.

“Dubai Properties has always witnessed strong buyer interest during and around Cityscape Global and, while we had to take buyers to an external venue in previous years, we believe the 2017 show format will ease modalities. The permit for sales transactions at the stand will ultimately lead to an increase in direct return on investment for developers, and we anticipate to take full advantage of this new feature by providing our customers with attractive investment options and tailored payment plans throughout the show,” says Marwan Al Kindi, executive director – sales and sales operations, Dubai Properties.

Besides showcasing the progress in transforming Business Bay, Dubai Properties will reveal two new residential projects at Cityscape Global. “We will activate on-stand sales of select inventory, including 1/JBR, Bellevue Tower, Mudon and Serena, and introduce special payment plans for all residential units on offer, including an exclusive two per cent DLD discount throughout Cityscape Global 2017,” adds Al Kindi.

Jumeirah Golf Estates also has a Cityscape exclusive offer for its Alandalus apartments. Buyers can pay five per cent upon booking and monthly one per cent installments during construction. The final balance of 70 per cent will be due on handover in Q3 2019. The payment plan is applicable to the full range of one to four-bedroom apartments, with prices starting from Dh685,000. UAE nationals can avail a two per cent waiver on DLD fees on property purchases.

“Our participation at Cityscape Global comes at an opportune time when the UAE real estate market is witnessing growth, with demand surging for both residential and commercial properties,” says Yousuf Kazim, CEO of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

While Cityscape Global attracted 38,000 visitors in 2016, organisers are expecting the numbers to swell this year.

“Although in the past, individuals were not allowed to transact at the exhibition itself, this did not really stop sales from happening. In reality, the deal was concluded at the office of the developer or broker anyway. Now, the buyer has the convenience of finalising or booking the deal without the need to move away from the stand. One word of caution to the buyer: Beware of unscrupulous or pushy sales agents,” warns Mario Volpi, chief sales officer, Kensington Exclusive Properties.

Meanwhile, the survey also revealed that the most sought-after residential property to buy is the two to three-bedroom apartment, with 53 per cent of respondents opting for this unit size.

More than half (59 per cent) of respondents who intend to buy a property in the next year prefer to buy in the GCC, with the average GCC budget sitting at $717,000, compared to the average global budget of $561,000.

Kailash Nagdev, managing director for YouGov in the Middle East, said: “Overall real estate investment sentiment for the UAE looks positive. Respondents are telling us a strong regulatory framework, good supply of residential properties at different price points and Expo 2020 will be the key drivers of a healthy outlook for Middle East real estate.”

Survey respondents in the GCC indicated the importance of location in residential properties in the study, with 43 per cent opting for close proximity to educational facilities, 42 per cent for healthcare facilities, followed by grocery stores (35 per cent) and place of work or business (33 per cent). UAE residents, however, particularly prefer properties close to grocery stores, at 40 per cent.

The survey also highlights that exactly half of respondents feel affordable housing is missing from the GCC real estate market, while 31 per cent believe there is a lack of reliable brokers and 28 per cent wish for better access to data comparing existing properties. Certain macro-economic factors emerge as elements of concern for potential investors; 72 per cent cite the state of the local economy, 68 per cent highlight a lack of trust in brokers and developers, and 67 per cent show concern for security in the market of interest.

Khaleej Times
Deepthi Nair /dubai
Filed on September 9, 2017
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