Dubai: Planning to move away from the city centre to save money on rent? The latest data show that tenants who are open to living farther afield can find even cheaper options in places like Sharjah, where rents have recently dropped.
Property analysts have confirmed that, as rents in Dubai's centrally located properties remain out of reach for many low or average-income earners, the suburbs remain a magnet for tenants. Jesse Downs, managing director of Phidar Advisory, however, noted that Dubai tenants are relocating, not only because they are looking for low rents. "It's often driven by value."
Accommodation rents in Sharjah dropped by 2 per cent during the last quarter of 2016 from a year earlier, according to real estate consultancy firm Asteco. In dirham terms, annual lease rates have dropped by Dh2,000 to Dh5,000 for one-bedroom to two-bedroom flats, and up to Dh7,000 for three-bedroom units.
Gulf News crunched the numbers in the latest report from Asteco to find out which specific locations are actually offering the biggest decline.
For one-bedroom flats, a clear winner in terms of rate reductions are the apartments in Al Nahda area, where residential units are going for Dh38,000 a year on average, down by 9.5 per cent from Dh42,000 in 2015.
In Al Qasimiyah, properties posted a 6 per cent drop, from Dh33,000 to Dh31,000, translating to a rental relief of Dh2,000 in one year.
Also not far behind is the Corniche area, where tenants can see a Dh4,000 reduction in annual rent for one-bedroom flats, which can be had for Dh44,000 a year, down by 8.3 per cent from Dh48,000 in 2015.
The Al Wahda neighbourhood is a great option as well, with one-bedroom units seeing rates dipping by 5.1 per cent on average, from Dh37,000 to Dh39,000, equivalent to a Dh2,000 decline.
Also offering a Dh2,000 decline in annual rent are the residential properties in Al Majaz, with costs dropping by 4.87 per cent, from Dh41,000 in 2015 to Dh39,000 in 2016.
Savings also await those who opt to stay in Al Khan (Al Mamzar) area where one-bedroom flats now go for Dh38,000 compared to Dh39,000 in 2015. Though it's marginal, the 2.6 per cent decline can mean Dh1,000 in annual savings.
Bigger families looking to rent a two-bedroom apartment can find the most significant rate cuts, about 10 per cent, in Al Wahda, with flats being offered for Dh45,000, compared to Dh50,000 in 2015.
Significant price drops can also be found for similar units in Corniche, with rates dropping 8.3 per cent to Dh55,000 compared to Dh60,000 in 2015.
Al Nahda area prices are also competitive for tenants eyeing two-bedroom units, which posted a 7.27 per cent decline, from Dh55,000 in 2015 to Dh51,000 in December.
In Al Majaz, similar units have posted a 5.1 per cent reduction in rental rates, from D58,000 to Dh55,000, offering tenants a chance to save Dh3,000 yearly.
If two-bedroom units are not enough, there are still savings to be had from larger living spaces in Sharjah.
The biggest price drop has been posted by apartments in Al Majaz and Al Mamzar, both offering Dh7,000 less. Three-bedroom units in Al Majaz have dropped from Dh73,000 to Dh66,000 annually, while those in Al Mamzar, lease rates for similar properties dropped from Dh80,000 to Dh73,000 a year.
Communities with biggest decline in rent:
One bedroom flats (2015 vs 2016 rates)
Al Nahda: From Dh42,000 to Dh38,000 – down by 9.5 per cent
Al Qasimiyah: From 33,000 to Dh31,000- down by 6 per cent
Al Wahda: From Dh39,000 to Dh37,000- down by 5.1 per cent
Al Majaz: From Dh41,000 to Dh39,000, down by 4.87 per cent
Al Khan (Al Mamzar): From Dh39,000 to Dh38,000, down by 2.6 per cent
*Cheapest one-bedroom apartment can be found in Al Yarmook, with prices remaining flat at Dh26,000 a year
Two-bedroom flats (2015 vs 2016 rates)
Al Wahda: From Dh50,000 to Dh45,000, down by 10 per cent
Corniche: From 60,000 to Dh55,000, down by 8.3 per cent
Al Nahda: From Dh55,000 to Dh51,000, down by 7.3 per cent
Al Majaz: From Dh58,000 to Dh55,000, down by 5.2 per cent
Abu Shagara: From Dh42,000 to Dh40,000, down by 4.8 per cent
*Cheapest two-bedroom unit can be found in Al Yarmook area, where rents, however, have gone up slightly from Dh28,000 to Dh29,000
Three-bedroom flats (2015 vs 2016 rates)
Al Majaz: From Dh73,000 to Dh66,000, down by 9.6 per cent
Al Khan (Al Mamzar): From Dh80,000 to Dh73,000, down by 8.75 per cent
Al Nahda: From Dh70,000 to Dh65,000, down by 7 per cent
Al Yarmook: From Dh48,000 to Dh45,000, down by 6 per cent
Corniche: From Dh78,000 to Dh75,000, down by 3.8 per cent
*Cheapest three-bedroom unit can be found in Al Yarmook area.