Dubai's real estate records robust Dh285b in 2017 deals

GCC investor deal flow remains strong, while Burj Khalifa was top location

12:06 January 9, 2018
Real estate

Dubai: Developers’ offplan push and sustained demand for plots ensured Dubai’s real estate market ensured an overall transaction value of Dh285 billion — and 10 per cent higher than the Dh259 billion in 2016.

The 2017 total was achieved through just over 69,000 deals, according to Dubai Land Department states.

That compares with 41,776 deals entered through 2016 worth Dh259 billion and 63,719 transactions in 2015 worth Dh267 billion.

Investment into Dubai’s real estate during the period was valued at Dh107 billion, with 39,480 investors coming on board. UAE nationals made up the single biggest buyer demographic, committing Dh25.30 billion, and followed by Indian buyers, with Dh15.6 billion (Dh12 billion the year before).

Saudis were in third place, at Dh7 billion plus, and ahead of UK and Pakistani passport holders, who did Dh6 billion and Dh5 billion worth of deals.

As such, Arab buyer participation in Dubai’s real estate was quite definitive, and despite the pall cast over the region just ahead of summer over issues involving Qatar. Another big plus Dubai’s developers will take forward is the buying support from Chinese investors. 

Gulf-based investments alone came to Dh37.28 billion, while other Arab nationalities pitched in with Dh14.22 billion. In 2016, GCC citizens had channeled Dh35 billion.

And even as developers pushed the affordable message to buyers, the top investor pick in 2017 was the Burj Khalifa, with 2,008 deals netting Dh7.36 billion. Business was second, as new offplan launches and completed projects pulled in buyer interest. The high-rise cluster had 3,763 transactions worth Dh7.11 billion. Dubai Marina was placed third, at just under Dh7 billion from 3,300 deals.

Interestingly, Palm Jumeirah was the top location for mortgage-backed purchases, at Dh12 billion from 731 deals. The Palm purchases typically involve ready cash buyers, who are not too bothered about collecting funds from banks. But 2017 sees a departure from the norm, at least for that prime location.

Business Bay again comes in second, with 769 deals of Dh6 billion having a mortgage component. And Dubai Marina placed third, with Dh3.7 billion in mortgage-driven deals.

That mortgage lenders are taking on more exposures represent a welcome development for the market. And with developers pushing hard on offplan sales - through the various incentives - 2018 could see the deal flows being sustained. All eyes will now be on what the Q1-18 numbers will have to say.

“Looking at the details from 2017, the sale of land, buildings and units in the Dubai real estate market totalled Dh114 billion through 49,000 transactions, while mortgages for the same three categories reached Dh138.5 billion through 15,700 transactions,” said the director-general. “There were approximately 4,000 other transactions valued at approximately Dh33.3 billion, where the total turnover was Dh285.562 billion from 69,000 transactions.”

Clearly, 2017 had a lot to offer for Dubai’s property market.