UAE landlords beware: nearly 50% of tenants are likely to move out in next 12 months

Dubai: Landlords in the UAE and elsewhere in the Gulf have their work cut out - nearly half of respondents in a new survey say they are likely to shift to a new property in the next 12 months. Obviously, lower rents will have a lot to do with their decision.

"The cost has taken precedence in the last few months with widespread salary cuts and a generally subdued economic outlook," according to the consultancy Savills. (The survey was carried over the summer and took in sentiments of individuals towards residential units pre- and post-lockdown.)

"Even though activity levels have bounced back, albeit still lower than pre-COVID-19 levels, a general inhibition towards spending a lot of time away from the home has led people to relook at their current residential space," said Richard Paul, Head of Professional Service and Consultancy at Savills Middle East.

"In most cases, this means either relooking their current residential set-up and making necessary upgrades, or considering relocating to suit their newfound lifestyle. This has led to a marked shift in how residential spaces are perceived.”

Before the pandemic, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Riyadh and Cairo were witnessing a gradual improvement in demand. Developers will now need to reconnect with potential buyers.

"A few developers have been successful in doing the same with the launch of innovative payment plans and schemes such as rent-to-own," said Swapnil Pillai, Associate Director Research Middle East at Savills. "Per our findings, close to 68 per cent of the respondents currently privately rent unfurnished accommodations in the region. The share of owner-occupied properties, both mortgaged or otherwise, is roughly 18 per cent."




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