Property Finder says Dubai has mismatch of schools to homes

Developers must 'delve deep and explore what Dubai residents really want', Education Intelligence Group's CEO says

Property Finder says Dubai's supply of schools and homes is mismatched.
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Property Finder says Dubai's supply of schools and homes is mismatched.

Property Finder and Education Intelligence Group (EIG) said they had jointly found a mismatch between new school supply in Dubai versus the income and demand levels of residents in the city, with their Knowledge Economy Report stating that while residential construction and delivery peaked in 2018, schools continued to face the empty-seat problem during the year. 

In a statement, Property Finder said that despite price contractions, residential property supply hit a peak last year, with 30,767 units completed in 2018, with 212,821 homes expected to be added as construction continues in the city. 

Property Finder estimated that 8,990 residential units were completed in the first quarter of 2019. In total, and to date, the total freehold residential stock in Dubai stands at 528,757 units.

On the other hand, the real estate platform explained, schools have faced an increasing number of empty seats, in part due to the growing number of schools being built in the city, as well as the trend of expats relocating to their home countries. 

Sixteen schools opened in Dubai in 2018, adding 25,000 seats to the market – but only two of these properties could be described as “affordable” schools, Property Finder said. 

Commenting on the trend, Property Finder's director of research and data, Lynnette Abad, said investors must be agile in their school fee models and staffing structures to adapt to contemporary market conditions. 

Abad added: “Historically, failing to consider all this data is where the mismatch occurred and continues to persist, and we have dissected each area, in depth, in the full report and made recommendations for a remedy.

Shaun Robison, chief executive officer of EIG, added: “We’re now at the point where investors really have to delve deep and explore what residents in Dubai really want, and what it means to be part of the wider community of Dubai.

"Investment expectations have to shift towards longer term goals, as parents clearly want to stay in Dubai and educate their children for the long term.”

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