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Dubai’s real estate market in 2018: 9 things you need to know


DUBAI – What’s in store for Dubai’s property sector this year? We asked a selection of agents, developers, property data analysts and portals and here’s what they have to say.

Will rental prices go up?


Rental prices have remained flat in the last 18 months, with apartment and villa rents trending lower since 2009.

However, rental transactions have seen an increase of 20 percent last year, suggesting that if this level of activitiy continues, then “we can can expect city wide price escalation in the coming months”,  according to Ozan Demir, Director of Operations and Research at REIDIN.

“On the other hand, upcoming supply is expected to reach 140,000 units in the next couple of years. If the project realization rate by the developers increase, that may prevent prices to move upwards and also pressuring the rentals,” Demir said.

Which properties are cheaper to rent?

Dubai villa rents have experienced the biggest decline of all the categories, said Paul Spargo, Commercial Director of Propertyfinder. “This may be due to a significant number of affordable villas released to the market in areas such as Jumeirah Village Circle and Al Furjan. Looking to 2018, price decline may continue to ebb, and transactions – especially for the middle-income segment – are expected to remain strong,” Spargo said.

Which properties will be in demand?

With the influx of real estate choices in Dubai, buyers can now be “more and  more selective”, said Ibrahim Al Ghurair, founder of Muraba Properties.

“After a huge boom in recent years, the real estate market in Dubai is maturing. With this maturity comes higher expectations from buyers and demand for properties with finer design elements and of higher quality,” Al Ghurair said.

In the luxury property market segment, Al Ghurair said that buyers will be looking for “integration of outside living with the inside, finishings, quality of fittings and fixtures, and overall attention to detail”.

“The property market in Dubai is constantly improving and, at present, it is experiencing many changes that will have a profound impact on the luxury sector,” said Anton Yachmenev, Managing Director of Forum Group.

“What we do expect to see in 2018 is the emergence of sophisticated buyers in the luxury market who have actually done their homework. We will start to see buyers who understand pervasive distinction between true luxury and aspirational luxury and that is a huge positive for us,” Yachmenev added.

What should buyers look out for?

“For buyers in 2018, check the developer’s reputation and take location and completion dates into consideration while negotiating price,” said Alexander Von Sayn-Wittgenstein, Luxury sales director at Luxhabitat.

Should you sell your property?

“The prices are expected to flatten further so don’t be in a hurry to sell your property just yet. Renting it would be a good option instead, ” Von Sayn-Wittgenstein advised.

What will be trending?

“One of the trends for 2018 will be affordability, but affordability will have to come at a cost and I’m not referring to financial terms. In order for developers to keep the ticket prices of residential property as affordable to the average person, the actual size of the finished unit will also have to be reduced,” said Mario Volpi, Chief Sales Officer of Kensington Properties.

“We have seen this trend already occurring by many of the current developers in locations such as JVC, Dubai South and Dubailand. Building smaller units will continue next year as this trend will guarantee the property’s affordability tag. Buyers or investors will now have to get used to smaller sized property units when choosing the ‘affordable’ option,” Volpi added.

Is it a good time to buy property?


“Coming to the end of 2017, the trend of decreasing prices across the market continues as observed since their peak in mid-2014. Falling prices makes buying a property more realistic for a larger Dubai population. Renters are moving into the buyer category, preferring to pay off their own mortgage, instead of their landlord’s,” said Propertyfinder Commercial Director Paul Spargo.

Will property prices continue to decline?

“While some areas experienced a decline in price per square foot, we do not anticipate that the sales prices will decline significantly in 2018. Despite a high number of planned projects in 2017, only approximately half of those units scheduled for completion were actually delivered by the end of the year. We predict a similar trend to continue in the next two to three years as there is an expected 120,000 units planned for completion by the end of 2020,” said Matthew Gregory, Head of Property Sales at dubizzle.

What’s the overall outlook of the property market for 2018?

“As we move into 2018, further inventory will float on to the market and provide even more attractive opportunities, piquing the interest of a larger base of consumers to start considering owning a home in the UAE. The growth in the economy coupled with more affordable housing options, should provide for a healthy and positive trend for 2018,” said Haider Ali Khan, CEO of Bayut. DAJ/Expat Media


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