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Dubai real estate bonanza fuelled by Expo 2020 success

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Dubai-based developer Emaar posted record profits of $610 million for the first quarter of 2022, a 241 percent increase on the same period of 2021
  • 6,983 property sales in April worth AED 18.2 billion
  • 45.5 percent increase in sales year-on-year
  • House prices rising at fastest pace in seven years

Dubai’s real estate market felt the full impact of Expo 2020’s success in April, with deals soaring to record levels.

After the conclusion of Expo 2020 Dubai, 6,983 real estate sales transactions worth AED 18.2 billion ($4.9 billion) were recorded in April – the highest figure for the month since 2009.

Secondary market sales transactions, comprising 60 percent of the total, constituted 4,212 transactions worth AED 12.86 billion. Off-plan properties made up 2,771 of the total, worth AED 5.33 billion.

The number of transactions was 45.5 percent higher than in April 2021, resulting in a 66.6 percent increase in value, according to figures released by Property Finder on Tuesday. 

Scott Bond, UAE country manager at Property Finder, said: “All eyes were on the real estate performance post Expo 2020, and with April 2022 performing the highest since 2009, the data is a strong testament to the growing appeal for the Dubai real estate market.” 

Preferred long-term investment assets

He added: “We also see a positive sentiment for investment opportunities following various governmental initiatives, including the recent new categories added to the Golden Visa rules, making Dubai’s properties one of the most preferred investment assets for the long term.”

According to Property Finder, the top areas of interest for villas/townhouses in April were Dubai Hills Estate, Palm Jumeirah, Arabian Ranches, Damac Hills (Akoya by Damac) and The Springs. 

The top areas of interest for apartments were Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, Business Bay and Jumeirah Village Circle.

Separately, consultancy ValuStrat said on Tuesday that capital value growth slowed to a sustainable monthly pace for villas in Dubai, while apartments saw no significant change. 

Its valuation-based residential price index saw monthly growth of 1 percent to reach 79.8 points in April while Dubai’s typical villa VPI reached 95.7 points. The ValuStrat Price Index base is 100 points as of January 2014.

Villas, which represent 13 percent of the market, recorded capital value growth at a monthly rate of 1.8 percent. On an annual basis, average villa prices are 33.8 percent higher, ValuStrat said in a report. 

It added that all apartment locations monitored by the valuation-based index had positive annual capital gains averaging 8.1 percent. 

ValuStrat said Dubai’s volume of home sales decreased 17.4 percent when compared to the previous month but was 55.9 percent higher than the same period last year. 

April also saw 19 transactions valued over AED 30 million, while apartments in Jumeirah Village broke their individual record with the greatest number of homes sold in one month since 2010.

Last week, real estate consultancy Knight Frank said property prices in Dubai were rising at their fastest rate for seven years.

It said house prices in Dubai grew by 10.6 percent last year and rose by a further 2.6 percent during the first three months of 2022.

The latest increase leaves values 11.3 percent higher than in the first quarter of 2021, the highest rate of annual growth since January 2015, it added.

A major beneficiary of the real estate boom is Dubai-based developer Emaar Properties.

Last week, the company, the biggest listed property firm in Dubai, posted record profits of $610 million for the first quarter of 2022. This is a 241 percent increase on the $179 million in the same period of 2021.

Emaar also recorded a rise in international real estate sales, with founder Mohamed Alabbar saying: “We have increased our share in key markets of Egypt and India, capturing the strong increase in demand in these economies.”