Property Buyers in Dubai are Heading for New 'Suburbs' Chasing Affordable Dream Homes

Dubai: It’s still early days into the year, but property sales in Dubai have got off to a good start after a slight dip over the last few days of December.

And a lot of this action is happening in Dubai’s suburbs.

Developers have already activated a new round of off-plan projects, and more of these are to go up in Dubai’s fast-emerging residential hubs of Majan and Furjan, apart from all the new build possibilities in Dubai South.

Plus, there are more coming in Jumeirah Village South, which has now evolved into the city’s go-to destination for mid- to upper-mid residential choices at relatively accessible rates.

Based on what developers have been saying, a new wave of property buyers are willing to have their future homes in these locations. Also, more developers are hoping for a further boost from easing the 50 per cent down payment on a Dh2 million or more off-plan purchase.

Also getting in is a steady stream of investors who plan to let out the properties as soon as they get the handovers. They believe, rightly so, that the likes of Arjan and Majan will soon develop a sizeable following for rented homes.

“Until now, Jumeirah Village Circle was the place to be for mid- to upper-mid properties in Dubai,” said a developer. “Then came Al Furjan, and now it seems the likes of Arjan and Majan will catch up fast. These could soon become the favoured locations for mid-income end-user home buyers.

“(The developer) Nshama showed what can be done at a relatively untested location with its ‘Town Square’ project, which is now both an end-user and tenant destination.”

And because these are still emerging locations, developers are giving extra attention to having more options in the Dh1 million to Dh2 million range. (On per square foot basis, it’s around the Dh800-Dh1,200 average.)

A strong Q1-24 beckons? The first three months of this year thus assume greater importance as far as the Dubai property markets are concerned. If demand shows signs of holding up through the initial months, it will set up another strong year – a fourth successive one at that.

Playing their part will be the emerging suburbs, be it Al Furjan, Arjan or Majan. “Arjan wasn’t among the Top 10 freehold areas in Dubai during 2023,” said Prathyusha Gurrapu, Head of Research & Consulting at the consultancy Cushman & Wakefield Core. “This year, we expect 5 per cent of the total stock to come up in Arjan, that’s around 1,500 units.”

Look at it another way, that’s 1,500 or so units getting added to Dubai’s mid- to upper-mid residential stock.

Based on a new Cushman & Wakefield Core report, other mid-market locations too will see some sizeable handovers, with Jumeirah Village Circle and District Seven leading the way. (Among all locations, Business Bay and Meydan should have the highest delivery numbers in 2024 followed by Downtown Dubai.)

New supply in plenty The pipeline of new off-plan launches is already flowing smoothly, with Aqua Properties starting on its Dh3 billion ‘The Central Downtown’ in Arjan, which is to create a substantial 1,168 apartments, plus lots of retail space. The project sits on 300,000 square feet, and is the ‘largest’ such within Arjan, according to the developer.

The aim is to ‘bring a touch of convenience and accessibility to every facet of daily life,” said Ali Tumbi, founder of Aqua, in a statement.

Land prices are still favourable The boom run carrying Dubai’s property market is lifting all values, not least that of land prices. Check out any established freehold location in Dubai and it would have seen a 20-40 per cent spike in land costs right off the bat. A lot of that, of course, gets into the final price buyers have to pay.

In comparison, the likes of Majan and Arjan still offer competitive land prices. That’s what end-users scouting for affordable homes should keep in mind.

Could 2024 see some slowdown in price rises?

“It’s too early to say,” said Gurrapu. “There will be moderation for sure - the rises aren’t going to be at the same levels as in 2022-23.”

That’s just what today’s property buyers want to hear, those looking to be end-users for the first time. Or those who have been in Dubai for some time and want to get into the housing market.

Golden Visa and down payment option Up in Majan, Samana Developers launched its flagship project, a twin-town development with a cost tag of Dh1.4 billion. It’s the first time the developer has been to this location, having until now shown a preference for Arjan. Prices for the units start at Dh674,000.

“Dubai has recently made it easier by dropping the down payment of Dh1 million required to apply for the Golden Visa (on a minimum Dh2 million property investment),” the developer said in a statement.

The revised Golden Visa requirement is the other big incentive developers and future property buyers lay great emphasis on. Not having to pay that 50 per cent upfront on a minimum Dh2 million investment can immediately get in more end-users this year.

Will all this add up to a bumper 2024 for Dubai property? January sure does seem to suggest so...

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Property Buyers in Dubai are Heading for New 'Suburbs' Chasing Affordable Dream Homes (image)

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