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Q3 housing deals in Dubai up 82%, says CBRE

Sales of properties in masterplanned communities make up 64% of total

Jumeirah Lakes Towers
Jumeirah Lakes Towers

The number of apartment and villa sales which took place in the third quarter of 2012 in Dubai was 82% higher than in 2011, according to new research from CBRE.

The company said that data sourced from the Dubai Land Department showed the number of deals in the third quarter was 2,873, compared with 1,578 last year.

The firm said that around 62% of all recorded sales were in masterplanned communities like Downtown Dubai, Emirates Living, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Dubai Marina. In value terms, sales in these communities reached $746m - or 84% of the $888m total.

CBRE said there had also been renewed interest in off-plan sales at Palm Jumeirah, Emirates Living and Downtown Dubai despite the fact that there had been limited transparencing over the phasing of sales.

"Historically, real estate markets remain constrained during the summer and Ramadan period. However, this year the market continued on its upward trend with apartment and villa lease rates increasing by around 6% and 4% respectively quarter-on-quarter," the report said.

"However, the increase in well-established locations was found to be even higher in some cases."

Meanwhile, rents in Dubai's central business district around the financial centre slipped for the first time in six quarters.
Despite a generally bening economic environment - with non-oil GDP growth of 4% expected in the UAE this year, the development of newer, higher quality office space is putting pressure on landlords of older buildings - some of whom have responded by dropping rent levels.

Average rents in the CBD have dropped to $396 per m2 a year.

"Emerging areas which had been witness to an explosion of new office accommodation over the past two years are now finally showing promising signs of stabilisation, with modest improvements in the occupancy rates recorded," it added.

"This trend has been most apparent in locations such as Business Bay, Jumeirah Lake Towers and Tecom C. However, vacancy rates in these areas remain exceptionally high and above market average as a consequence of historic supply imbalances."

The firm added that with an extra 157,000 m2 of property coming onto the market in Q3 and more space in the pipeline, the prospect of rent rises in the short term "is unlikely".

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