Is it the best time to buy luxury properties as prices hit bottom?
The luxury property market in Dubai is close to bottoming out. However, there are certain sub-markets where there is more room for prices to fall further.
"In certain markets, this is certainly close to the bottom, however, there is still some room for prices to decrease. In locations such as the Palm Jumeirah villa market, we are seeing that the market is very much there [or there about] and as a result, we are seeing the market begin to pick up in terms of transactions," says Taimur Khan, research manager, Knight Frank.
A month-on-month analysis shows that prices in the luxury sector have been stable. According to Luxury Property, average sales prices have changed by zero per cent in Mohammed Bin Rashid City and Arabian Ranches, whereas homes in Jumeirah saw a drop of only 0.12 per cent and Dubai Marina has experienced a drop of 0.44 per cent month-on-month basis in August.
"We are at the bottom of the cycle. As the supply/demand matrix stabilises, we will see a return to steady measured growth," observes Jason Hayes, founder and CEO, Luxury Property.
However, there are others who believe that if you have a luxury property in a prime location, you hold a value that hardly decreases. "What we describe as "the market" are mass market units that have no individual value or unique selling point. If you are the owner of a prime property within a well-established community, you got an advantage over the rest of the market, reckons Daniel Garofoli, luxury sales specialist, Luxhabitat.
According to Knight Frank statistics, the transactional average for prime apartments in the secondary market ranges from Dh2,400 to Dh2,630 per square foot and from Dh2,160 to Dh2,840 per square foot in the off-plan market, depending on the location.
Meanwhile in the super prime market, the transactional average in the secondary market ranges from Dh2,250 to Dh3,720 per square foot and Dh3,100 to Dh3,360 per square foot in the off-plan space, Knight Frank informs.
"The Marina, JLT and JVC/JVT have a lot of attraction for end-users as well as off-plan buyers. The market in Downtown has slowed a bit. Investors are looking at B- and C- locations for investments as the returns are higher than in prime locations. End-users are still seeking properties in prime locations such as Downtown and the Palm for secondary and Dubai Hills for off-plan," adds Garofoli.
"In terms of off-plan sales, beachfront apartments on the Palm Jumeirah have continued to be a popular option, primarily in developments such as the Alef, One Palm and Royal Atlantis. The villas at XXII Carat have also proven to be popular with buyers. Secondary villas sales have been particularly strong in areas such as Al Barari, Arabian Ranches II and District One," continues Hayes.
In the off-plan villa and townhouse market, Town Square, Mohammed Bin Rashid City, Al Quoz and Serena have seen most transactions in Q2 2018 whereas in the off-plan apartment space, MBR City, Business Bay, JVC, Downtown, Marina and Dubai South have seen brisk activity.
In the secondary villa/townhouse space, Emirates Living, Akoya Oxygen, International City, MBR City and Al Furjan have seen most transactions whereas in the secondary apartment market, Marina, International City, Sports City, Downtown, Palm Jumeirah, JVC, JLT and Business Bay have been popular among buyers.
If the unit is correctly priced in terms of market expectations, then it sees good levels of demand, whereas overpriced units will tend to have much longer marketing periods.
"More so in areas where we are expecting an influx of supply such as Downtown Dubai, we are seeing greater discounts being achieved compared to the marketing price," elaborates Khan.
Some properties are sitting on the market for a longer period as sellers keep a bottom line in mind that they don't want to move from.
"The realisation marketing period is longer than it was at this time last year. This is due in part to the increase in newly constructed options for buyers to consider. As their options grow in number, we can accordingly expect a longer marketing period," adds Hayes.
The majority of sellers understand the market and their homes are valued and priced accordingly.
"Sellers are willing to come down in prices little more now and take a hit, which is a great sign as they see that their market moves sidewards, but not down. So, in order to shift a property quick, it's required to come closer to a serious buyer's offer," adds Garofoli.
Purchasers of luxury property in Dubai comprise overseas buyers, second home buyers and people that establish business here in Dubai.