UAE Millennial homeowners lower than global average

A quarter of people between 18 and 36 in the UAE own their own home – far lower than the global average but in line with national trends – a new survey has found.

According to a report by HSBC that assessed the views of more than 9,000 people in nine countries, just 26 per cent of Millennials in the UAE own their own property.

The survey, in which more than 1,000 respondents in the UAE were questioned, including Emiratis and expatriates, found that the proportion was the lowest of nine countries analysed by HSBC. China topped the list at 70 per cent of Millennials saying they were owner- occupiers, while 46 per cent of Mexican Millennials own their own homes and 41 per cent of French Millennials saying the same.

At the other end of the list Australia had the second lowest proportion of Millennial homeowners at just 28 per cent and the UK came in at 31 per cent.

However, unlike in most of the other countries surveyed, the proportion of UAE Millennials owning their own homes came in roughly in line with the proportion of homeowners in the general population, which is at 28 per cent. According to official statistics, 64.5 per cent of adults in the US own their own homes and in the UK the level stands at 63.5 per cent.

“When you look at the fact that only 28 per cent of respondents in the UAE own their own homes obviously that is lower than other markets, but you have to remember that this is coming from a low base,” said Craig Plumb, head of research at JLL’s Dubai office. “The number of owners-occupiers has increased across the board over the last 15 years. Before then most foreigners were not allowed to buy property in the country.”

Despite the introduction three years ago of limits on how much could be borrowed to buy a home, Millennials in the UAE showed the lowest level of concern about raising a deposit, with 45 per cent of those questioned reporting a lack of savings for a deposit as a barrier to home ownership. That’s compared with a global average of 69 per cent.

Instead, 50 per cent of UAE Millennial homeowners said that their parents had helped them to buy a home – the highest proportion of all the countries surveyed.

“There has been a lot of talk about the affordability of real estate in the UAE, but from this survey what we can see is that home buyers in the UAE are actually doing OK compared with those in other parts of the world,” said Kunal Malani, the head of customer value management, HSBC Middle East.

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