By Sarah Townsend
New report shows that number of house sales in Dubai Marina during Jan-Oct fell to less than 1,500, down 46%
The number of residential property sales in some parts of Dubai have fallen by more than 40 percent in the last two years but there are recent signs of an uptick in the market, according to new data from Unitas Consultancy and Reidin.com.
The research found the number of house sales in Dubai Marina during the first nine months of 2015 fell to less than 1,500 compared to 2,250 during the same period last year and 2,700 in 2013, representing a 46 percent decline.
In Downtown Dubai, the number of transactions fell to about 500 this year compared with 800 last year and 750 in 2013 – a circa 30 percent drop in the past two years.
In the Greens the drop was around 42 percent, Reidin.com said, while in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) numbers stood at about 1,200 this year, flat from the same period last year but down from about 1,600 in 2013, a 31 percent drop.
However, the company said that the pace of decline in the same areas appeared to be slowing in the third quarter of 2015 – and in some areas there has been a slight uptick.
For example, in JLT, there were around 400 transactions in the third quarter of 2015 compared with 390 in the same period last year but down from 600 in 2013.
In Downtown there were around 190 sales in the third quarter of this year, higher than 180 recorded in 2014 but still down on 210 in 2013.
However, in Dubai Marina there were around 400 transactions in the third quarter of this year – down from 450 the previous year and around 900 in 2013.
The report said: “On a nine-month comparison between 2013 and 2015, we can see that sale transactions are down in monitored areas by a maximum of 46 percent and a minimum of 30 percent.
“However, a comparison between Q3 14 and Q3 15, an uptick in activity by an average of 8 percent has transpired.
“This uptick is likely due to the fall in prices that have been witnessed in this segment and we opine that this trend in the market will continue as prices will soften further.
“The rise in transaction volumes also indicates market expectations that participants feel that the fall in the market prices may be nearing an end.”
The report noted that transactional activity in mid-range residential areas such as International City and Discovery Gardens has been more resilient since 2013, falling only 11 per cent on average, compared to an overall average of 21 per cent in high-end areas.
The ‘Follow the money’ report also found mortgages accounted for a larger portion of sales in 2015 compared to previous years. “Mortgages are considered to be an indication of home-ownership, which highlights the shift of the market from an investor based to an owner-occupied one,” the report said.
“However, there are instances where mortgage transactions outweigh sales, especially in the periods of a downturn implying a higher number of refinancing and other types of transaction taking place.”For all the latest real estate news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
This is a typical market slowdown cycle. First the number of transactions falls but owners refuse to discount by much. Then a few break ranks because the have to sell and drop their prices. The rest of the market then has to follow. That set's the market up for falling prices and lower volumes in 2016, though not necessarily a crash like 2009 as the prices have never become so pumped up in the boom as the government dampened prices in late 2013 with higher transaction fees and mortgage restrictions. How low will prices go? Ask a global macroeconomist. But at least if you know where the cycle is then you can try to time your purchase at the lowest point. Wait a year or two?