By Parag Deulgaonkar
Current prices and rents will prove ‘too tempting’ to resist, feels Propertyfinder Group
Ramadan is not likely to lower the number of investor enquiries in Dubai’s real estate market, a Dubai-based property listing site has claimed.
Sales activity has been picking up this year, with Dubai reporting a 45 percent surge in the value of transactions in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.
“Agents seem optimistic that current prices will prove ‘too tempting’ to resist for the many investors currently sitting on cash and that momentum will be little affected by Ramadan,” said Lukman
Hajje, Propertyfinder group chief commercial officer.
He added that though many industries slow down during Ramadan as few conferences are held, entertainment takes an extended breather and daytime dining is largely off-limits, but the volume of real estate sales and rental enquiries barely change.
According to the Islamic Crescents Observation Project, the first day of Ramadan will fall on Saturday (May 27), but this has not been confirmed by the UAE Ramadan Moon Sighting Committee.
“Ramadan has fallen during the summer months over the past four years. Many naturally assume that this will be a quiet period, but online searches and enquiries indicate in fact the opposite. Due to the heat and the shortened working days, people spend more time at home, and have excess time to search online,” said Hajje.
“Consumers are spending more and more of their free time browsing the web on their mobiles, tablets, laptops, desktops and even their smart TVs. Even when people are shopping at malls, socialising at friends’ houses or travelling, they remain connected.”
January and February are peak months, with daily enquiries 11 to 23 percent above the average for the site, the company said, adding activity slows slightly from April to July – a period that includes Ramadan - though the month itself does little to alter property hunters behaviour.
Sales enquiries rebound from August, a time when families are preparing for the start of the school year and many new residents arrive, Hajje said.
The peaks and troughs of sales enquiries are gentle, however, indicating strong year-round demand for UAE property.
‘’While property inspections decrease due to the heat or due to people being out of the country during summer, those that do attend viewings, tend to be far more serious about their search.
“Either they are hard negotiators looking for seasonal deals or they are customers who have a time limit on their move. The fact that summer coincides with the end of the school year, adds to this urgency as many rental contracts coincide with the school year, particularly villas and larger apartments that are often occupied by families,’’ Hajje said.