JUL 9, 2018: Overall property transactions in Dubai totaled Dh111 billion for the first half of 2018, says the Dubai Land Department (DLD). This represents an approximately 16 per cent decline compared to the same period a year ago. Overall property transactions in Dubai totaled Dh132 billion in the first half of 2017 and Dh113 billion in the first six months of 2016.
The Land Department numbers represent properties and plots sold across Dubai and indicate transactions during first six month of 2018 fell below corresponding 2016 figures.
The reduction in property transactions in the first half of 2018 come as off-plan transactions recorded a drop after the torrid pace set in 2017. The reason for the decline in off-plan transactions as compared to ready plans has been a combination of fewer developer launches as well as somewhat of a pullback of developer incentives that were the rage in 2017.
Market analysts believe second half of the year may make a difference after Dubai announced 10-year residency visa for investors and reduction in government fees.
Dubai registered real estate transactions exceeding Dh285 billion in 2017 and Dh259 billion for the full year 2016. These numbers suggest that the second half of the year should give a further impetus in terms of the numbers and values of transactions.
While Emirati investors ranked first in both the number and value of transactions – being involved in 2,986 transactions worth Dh6.8 billion – Indian nationals came in second with 3,218 transactions at Dh5.9 billion. This was followed by Saudis whose investments were worth almost Dh3.7 billion through 1,415 investments. The list of top 10 investors by nationality also included Dubai residents from Britain, Pakistan, China, Egypt, Jordan and France.
The investments put in by Gulf nationals exceeded Dh11.6 billion through 4,919 transactions. Arab investors concluded 2,561 transactions worth more than Dh4.115 billion.
Market observers are upbeat in their outlook about H2 2018 in the wake of several path-breaking decisions announced in the past months. These include a 10-year visa for investors, allowing funds and REITs to list on the Dubai Financial Market, reducing fines and providing payment plans to expired business licenses, stimulation of businesses by releasing Dh14 billion in the form of visa deposits, allowing many businesses to own 100 per cent of their shareholding, six-month visas for people looking for work opportunities, freeze on school fees, etc.
Not to forget that Expo 2020 is around the corner and many infrastructure plans are being put into place. This should contribute positively to the sales environment,” said Sanjay Chimnani, managing director of Raine & Horne.
(Original reports appeared in Khaleej Times and Zawya)