Green shoots: Dubai property sales improve as investors return to market

Dubai’s property market is starting to see some buyers jumping back into business following the lifting of restrictions the government had earlier imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

According to ValuStrat, which tracks real estate valuations across the emirate, the last few weeks have seen an improvement in the uptake of properties in Dubai, indicating the return of investors to the market.

“As lockdown restrictions gradually eased, the first three weeks of June witnessed ready property sales improve 9 percent when compared to the whole month of May,” Haider Tuaima, head of real estate research at ValuStrat, told Zawya. 

Last March, the UAE government ordered the closure of non-essential establishments, suspended all international passenger flights and restricted the movement of residents.

For about two months, realty sales declined, with the travel ban preventing the entry of potential investors and personal showings halted. In April alone, sales of apartments and villas dropped by about 50 percent. 

On April 5, one of the slowest business days during the lockdown, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) recorded only 40 million UAE dirhams in sales, as opposed to the 1.2 billion dirhams in transactions made on the same day in February.

After a grueling period of lockdown, the UAE government started easing its restrictions in late May, allowing non-essential shops and malls to reopen gradually with strict rules on social distancing and wearing of face masks. Today, commercial establishments and offices are operating at full capacity, while Dubai prepares to reopen for international tourists or visitors.

DLD’s published figures showed that from June 1 to June 19, a total of 5.2 billion dirhams in real estate transactions were closed, up from 2.8 billion during the same period in April.

However, Tuaima said that sales of off-plan properties remain low and this is partly due to the absence of new project launches.

“Off-plan sales faced a continued downward trend due to minimal new project launches, down 37 percent since May,” said Tuaima.

In terms of the number of properties sold so far, the month of June doesn’t look disappointing compared to a year ago. According to Tuaima, the first weeks of June 2020 saw 419 ready property sales compared to 675 during the full month of June last year.




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