Aldar awards main contract for Yas Acres development to Trojan

Abu Dhabi’s largest listed property developer, Aldar, said on Sunday it has awarded Trojan General Contracting a Dh1.7 billion main construction contract for the first three precincts of its Yas Acres development on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

In a note to the Abu Dhabi bourse, Aldar said Trojan would mobilise on site immediately to start work on 652 villas and town houses, a golf course, a club house and infrastructure at the project which will eventually comprise a total of 1,315 homes spread across 811,108 square metres.

The contract award follows the completion of a Dh155 million early works package by Bauer Geotechnical Specialized Foundation, which has left the project 10 per cent complete.

Aldar said the construction work would take 32 months and that it would hand over the first home at Yas Acres at the end of 2019. “With the mobilisation of the contractors we expect to see highly visible progress as these precincts of villas and town houses start construction,” said Talal Al Dhiyebi, the chief development officer at Aldar Properties.

On Saturday, Aldar reported that it had found buyers for the third tower of its The Bridges “mid market” property development on Reem Island after just four hours.

The company had already received initial deposits from buyers for the first two towers of the six-tower project which the company started marketing at Cityscape Abu Dhabi last month.

The developer said that demand for the apartments, which were being marketed at prices starting from Dh450,000, was so high that it released a third tower for sale last weekend.

Aldar has now generated Dh600m from off-plan sales at The Bridges, it said.

The off-plan sales come despite price declines in the capital’s secondary market as two years of low oil prices force government-related companies to lay off staff and cut housing allowances.

Last month, Asteco reported that apartment sales prices for completed properties fell by an average of 2 per cent in the first three months of the year and 4 per cent compared with a year earlier.

Property brokers say investors are still buying off-plan property in Abu Dhabi because they can purchase smaller, cheaper apartments than ones that are currently available on the secondary market amid expectations of a market uptick by 2020.

“People are buying these off-plan apartments as a bet that the market will recover by 2019 or 2020 so they can buy at today’s prices and expect capital appreciation while the properties are being built,” said Ben Crompton, the managing partner at Crompton Partners estate agents. “The same thing is happening in Dubai with buyers gambling that there will be another boom in a few years time.”

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