Dubai property hunters flocking to more affordable secondary locations

Demand for affordable housing in Dubai is growing, with the Al Furjan community and Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) being the two most sought-after locations in the first eight months of the year, according to online classifieds portal Dubizzle.

The firm’s latest Dubai market report showed that there was a254 per cent increase in the number of inquiries for rental properties in Al Furjan since the start of the year, even though inquiries about properties for sale in the district dropped 25 per cent.

JVC, meanwhile, witnessed a 233 per cent increase in inquiries about property for rent and a 152 per cent rise in sales inquiries as more homes in the district are completed and infrastructure in the area improves.

The number of completions within communities mean that despite the increase in inquiries, prices have remained fairly steady.

Sale prices in Al Furjan have remained at about Dh1,000 per square foot since January, and rents for a three-bedroom home have held at Dh170,000 per year. However, rents for a two-bed property have increased almost 30 per cent to Dh142,000 from Dh110,000 in January.

At JVC, sale prices have declined marginally to Dh905 per sq ft, from Dh935 in January. Rents have also dropped, with three-bed properties now renting at Dh170,000, compared to Dh180,000 at the start of the year.

“JVC is still very hot, which is not surprising as the infrastructure is being developed,” said Dubizzle’s property marketing manager, Ann Boothello. “It is one of the more affordable areas, and you get bigger spaces outside.

“For smaller families and bachelors coming to Dubai, the centre of Dubai is moving. You have Downtown Dubai, which is an amazing community. It is beautiful, it is self contained and people like to live there for the luxury. But at the same time, with projects that have recently been announced, like Meydan, you can see that the centre of Dubai is slowly going to start shifting towards the outskirts. You can already see it in the numbers.”

Inquiry levels for Downtown Dubai have dropped by 26 per cent for new sales and 18 per cent for rents, with sale prices almost 8 per cent lower at Dh2,400 per sq ft.

Dubizzle has also begun tracking movement in the commercial property market.

Sales prices and rents remain fairly flat for office space, but demand for retail space is soaring, it said.

Dubai-wide retail sale prices have jumped 50 per cent to Dh1,500 per sq ft and rents are up 62 per cent to Dh243,000 per year for a 500 sq ft to 1,000 sq ft unit.

The company also listed the top 10 nationalities of those searching to buy or rent property.

Indians were the biggest source of inquiries regarding properties for sale, followed by Pakistanis and Emiratis. Filipinos and Egyptians made up the rest of the top five.

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