DUBAI: The onset of summer is taking a toll on activity in the Dubai property sector. The total number of residential transactions in the second quarter of 2017 declined 23 per cent from the previous quarter, says Chestertons Mena. The sales of off-plan properties plummeted by 28 per cent in volume and by 43 per cent in value; transactions of completed units were also down by 17 per cent in volume and seven per cent in value. Apartment sales remained flat quarter on quarter (q-o-q) while villas saw a three per cent increase. However, rents for both villas and apartments fell by two per cent during Q2. “The positive momentum from the first quarter did not translate into increased activity in the second quarter as the decline was evident in both completed units and off-plan transactions,” said Ivana Gazivoda Vucinic, head of advisory and research, Chestertons Mena. “Seasonality and an amount of uncertainty have curbed transactional volumes. However, we expect increased activity as we approach the second half of the year.”
Gazivoda Vucinic added: “It is expected that sales and rental values will maintain the same trend moving into the last quarter of the year when transactional activity picks up again.” Apartment sales prices in Dubai Silicon Oasis grew 13 per cent, the highest q-on-q increase among observed areas, while Jumeirah Village Triangle rose 11 per cent – buoyed mainly by sales of smaller units and the expectations of increased capital growth in the near future. The introduction of new stock negatively impacted sales prices in areas such as Business Bay and Dubailand at 12 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. Downtown recorded a seven per cent decline, due, in part, to the release of a number of branded residences.
Sales prices for Palm Jumeirah villas rose by 10 per cent; Jumeirah Park, The Meadows and Springs increased by four per cent; and Victory Heights up by two per cent. Rents across apartments declined by two per cent with Jumeirah Village Circle and The Greens witnessing the largest decline at five per cent, followed by Dubai Silicon Oasis and International City where rates fell by four per cent. More established areas, including DIFC and Dubai Marina, bucked the trend, with the exception of three-bedroom units which fell by three per cent. Villa rents also fell by two per cent but interestingly witnessed the highest transactional values. Villa rents on Jumeirah Islands witnessed a slight increase of three per cent while other areas such as Victory Heights, The Lakes and Al Furjan declined by eight per cent, six per cent and four per cent respectively. The top areas based on sales transaction volume were Dubai Marina (Dh840 million), Emirates Living (Dh840 million) and Palm Jumeirah (Dh760 million). The most expensive property? A villa in Emirates Living that sold for Dh90 million.