Selective off-plan sales gains in Abu Dhabi

The upscale Saadiyat Island homes recorded a fairly strong 5% gain during Q4-17

Staff Report
15:59 February 7, 2018


A relative Improvement in off-plan sales provided a sliver of hope for Abu Dhabi’s property market.

Saadiyat Island recorded an increase in apartment sales prices for a “second consecutive quarter, at 5 per cent, fuelled in part by the inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, states an update from the realty consultancy Chestertons. Prices inched up from Dh1,362 per square foot to Dh1,430.

In fact, right through the fourth quarter of 2017, off-plan sales trended higher with developers rolling out incentives. But the secondary market had to put up with a 2 per cent decline in apartment sales prices and 1 per cent decline on villa prices.

“We saw the effects of a number economic factors, including low oil prices, reduced government spending, increased stock in the secondary market, a rising cost-of-living and redundancies,” said Ivana Gazivoda Vucinic, Head of Consulting and Research.

The rental market felt the pinch as well, leading to a decline in rates of 2 per cent and 1 per cent for apartments and villas, respectively, during the fourth quarter.

“Shrinking company housing allowances and excess rental supply exerted downward pressure on rental prices in the emirate,” said Vucinic. “Vacancies in some locations, such Al Raha Beach, surged over the quarter as residents downsized their accommodation or moved to more affordable communities.“ But tenants looking to downsize also set off upward rental pressure on smaller units, with rates for one-bedroom units in Al Khalidiya rising 7 per cent and in contrast to what was happening in the rest of the market and locations.