Dubai real estate had a sluggish year of fewer trades and turnover

Dubai’s real estate sector experienced a slowdown in 2016 as fewer transactions took place during a year of sluggish property prices.

Figures from Dubai Land Department on Saturday showed that overall transaction value in the city fell by nearly 3 per cent, to Dh259 billion from Dh267bn in 2015, even as the number of transactions fell to 60,595 last year compared with 63,719 deals a year earlier.

A report from the property consultants Cavendish Maxwell last week showed that transaction volumes for sales in Dubai dropped by 19 per cent year-on-year, citing 14,500 deals between January and mid-December.

Average apartment prices dropped by 3.4 per cent year-on-year and villas fell by 3.6 per cent but the rate of decline slowed towards the end of the year. But brokers are confident that sales are about to pick up following two years of declines.

DLD’s report showed that land sales and mortgage transactions were valued at Dh193bn from 15,994 transactions, a level similar to last year’s Dh194bn, but from 16,751 transactions.

Dubai’s real estate sector attracted 22,834 investors from 136 countries, who poured in close to Dh44bn. Indians ranked the highest in terms of volume and value – 6,263 investors bought Dh12bn worth of property. Buyers from the UK funnelled in Dh5.8bn and Pakistani nationals contributed Dh4.4bn. GCC investors, meanwhile, contributed Dh35bn.

Sultan Butti bin Merjen, the director general of DLD, said that Dubai’s real estate market was moving towards sustainable growth and that the market will “gain further momentum in 2017, signalling an upward trend for sustained growth in the run-up to Expo 2020”.

The report also showed that that the number of brokers had increased to 5,933 during the past year and that 2,285 brokerages were active in 2016.

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