The sharp drop in rents seen across Dubai in recent months has sparked an influx of people from other emirates, as well as major population shifts within the emirate itself, according to property experts on Sunday.Former residents of Sharjah are now upgrading to International City, while those living in the Marina are securing villas in Jumeriah, said Jesse Downs, Director of Research and Advisory Services, Landmark Advisory.
"We are seeing major population shifts from other emirates to Dubai as well as different areas within Dubai. This is primarily due to individuals looking to upgrade in terms of quality, location and size of apartments and villas," she said in an interview with Emirates Business.
"Some of the patterns we are seeing now are massive shifts from Sharjah to International City and Discovery Gardens as well as from International City and Discovery Gardens to the Marina.
“We're also seeing individuals previously living in places like the Marina upgrading to villas in Jumeirah and Emirates Living," Downs revealed.
As prices fall further more people from Abu Dhabi are expected to take up homes in Dubai, which are far higher in quality, and commute to work, she said.
The rental price of a one bedroom apartment in central Abu Dhbai was going for better AED120,000 to AED80,000 per year, the same price as a two-to-three-bedroom apartment in Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence.
"In Abu Dhabi quality is an issue as many of those new projects are not yet delivered, leaving the majority of current stock in older buildings.”
“For the same rates, it's possible to rent high quality, recently built or three-to-four-bedroom villas in Emirates Living or Jumeirah/Umm Sequim," she said.
While some were taking advantage of lower rents to upgrade others were moving to save money in preparation for tougher times ahead, added Camilla Van der Merwe, Head of Leasing, Asteco Property Management.
"We have seen movement in the market not only because the household income has reduced, but mainly because the steps tenants are taking are merely preventative measures and a cost-saving initiative," said Merwe.
Last year a family living in a two-bedroom apartment in Dubai Marina would have paid on average AED150,000 per year, now they can rent a two-bedroom villa in Arabian Ranches for AED130,000.
“The benefits are that there is a bigger living area, larger outdoor area and savings of around Dh10,000 if you choose the Arabian Ranches option," said Merwe.
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