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Abu Dhabi’s property to become more affordable

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Abu Dhabi’s housing property market has ‘adjusted’ and is “responding positively to challenging conditions”, a senior analyst stated.

Craig Plumb, head of Research, at JLL MENA, spoke at the Cityscape exhibition and stressed that the market is presently experiencing a stage of lowdown mainly because “it has reacted” to what is needed.

“The market has become more affordable, as developers have recognized the sweet spot isn’t super luxury, it’s at the middle market,” he said.

A latest report by ValuStrat established that housing property prices in the UAE capital throughout the first quarter of the year were down 12.2 percent contrasted with Q1 2018, and 3.2 percent less than the previous quarter.

“Property is a cyclical business and we are in a period of a soft market. However, there’s not a huge amount of new supply expected this year or next,” stated Plumb.

Developers are now more aware of what they are planning and delivering, he said.

“In the residential market, we are looking at about 8,000 units for this year and even less next year, that’s about 3 percent of existing stock and this is good,” he said.

He also added “We are positive about what we can expect to see…The market has adjusted and is not just building a vast amount of supply that we saw three to four years ago,”.

Moreover, it was also declared that all foreigners will be entitled to own the freehold of land and properties by the emirate. Beforehand, this was only allowed for UAE and GCC nationals.

As part of the changes, housing units in the zones will be listed under Abu Dhabi’s freehold law, with property ownership deeds issued to investors, according to a statement issued by the Abu Dhabi government.

Previously, foreign investors were usually offered only 99-year leases.

Talal Al Dhiyebi, CEO of Aldar said: “This is a game-changing declaration for Abu Dhabi. This will not only further compel the maturity of Abu Dhabi’s real estate market, however, will also boost transparency and offer clarity of title for property owners, increasing long term investment, injecting more liquidity into the market and encouraging longer-term residency.”

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