Abu Dhabi rental market is picking up activity

Property brokers in Abu Dhabi are reporting a pickup in deal activity as renters search for better housing deals.

“Volumes on new leases for us have been higher this year than at any other time,” said Ben Crompton, managing partner of Crompton Partners estate agents in Abu Dhabi. “People are moving either because their budget can now afford bigger and better places due to rent drops or people are downsizing to conserve funds.

“Sales volumes again have been quite strong on new launches but less so on older projects,” he added. “Off plan has been incredibly resilient and new towers coming to market are seeing legacy buyers looking to offload stock at rock-bottom prices.”

Mr Crompton estimates that the increase in turnover has been making up for the lower commissions the company is receiving because of citywide rental falls, making the business “about income neutral”.

He predicts that lease prices in Abu Dhabi will only start to increase “once the current inventory has been taken up, which is in turn based on whether or not the government starts hiring again. Most people expect this to start in the first quarter of 2018”.

Almer Agmyren, managing director of Rex Real Estate, forecasts that the housing market in Abu Dhabi will remain quiet for the remainder of 2017.

“There has been a decline in rents witnessed all over Abu Dhabi, some areas more than others. Premium locations of course are doing better,” he says. “We are coping with lower volumes by focusing more on pinpointing units and niche marketing for units we know are great deals, both sales and leasing.”

lbarnard@thenational.ae