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Devmark: Dubai real estate sales soar as dollar weakens

Photo Supplied: Devmark

Devmark, the UAE-based real-estate consultancy and advisory firm, has witnessed a renewed surge in Dubai property sales, particularly from overseas investors, who are benefiting from the weak performance of the US dollar over the past four months.

As a safe-haven currency, the dollar experienced upward pressure at the beginning of the pandemic. Now that the shock and immediate uncertainty of the crisis have subsided to a degree, there have been positive flows to other currencies such as the Swiss franc, sterling and the euro, with negative outflows from the dollar.

Sean McCauley, CEO, Devmark, said: “Since mid-March, investors from Switzerland, the UK, Germany, and Italy have been able to take advantage of gains made by the Swiss franc, sterling and the euro, as the US dollar weakened over the past four months.

“Subsequently, development projects in Dubai have, in effect, become 14.8% and 11.2% cheaper depending on whether you are buying in euros or sterling. Indeed, UK investors, for example, buying in pounds could now save over AED 185,000 when buying a one-bedroom luxury apartment, at the Address Jumeirah Resort, once compared with the exchange rates at the beginning of March,” added McCauley.

According to Dubai-based real estate data & analytics company REIDIN, despite the lockdown, the total value of real estate transactions in the Dubai residential market still closed just shy of AED 10 billion in the second quarter of 2020, which although 40% down y-on-y, the volume of transactions was marginally up in May and June, a remarkable performance all things considered.

The popularity of waterfront developments in Dubai was underscored, particularly in Dubai Marina, which recorded the most transactions in Dubai by volume with 146 sales in Q2, closely followed by Dubai Hills, with 120. Notably, the Address Jumeirah, Marina Gate, and Sparkle Towers, all in the vicinity of Dubai Marina, have generated combined sales of 122 units in the first six months this year, up from just 53 transactions in Q1 2020.

Additional projects piquing the interest of investors include the Address Jumeriah Resort, which is uniquely located on the last beachside plot of Jumeirah Beach Residence. The development offers unspoiled views, and a host of world-class amenities, including restaurants, private beach access, and an affinity pool overlooking Bluewaters Island, Palm Jumeirah, and Dubai Marina.

“Many market watchers are predicting that the dollar will soften by a further 1.75% by the end of this year, so it could be fairly safe to assume that Dubai’s property market will benefit from these financial market dynamics, for some time to come,” added McCauley.

Further underscoring the popularity of waterfront living, Chestertons’ recent Q2 report highlighted Dubai Marina as one of only three communities to record below-average apartment sales price declines at a rate of just 1.1% quarter-on-quarter. Rental declines were also well below the average decrease of 3.6% at only 1.9%.

Commenting about the popularity of waterfront properties, industry stalwart Miki Mirza, who recently joined Devmark, as executive director, said: “Marina living has become one of the most desirable and sought-after lifestyles in the world, with exclusivity, status, leisure and entertainment, can be found in abundance at the meticulously planned Dubai Marina waterfront development.

“Proximity to the beach has consistently also been a key driver in enhancing demand for waterfront properties. JBR residents enjoy prime sea views, exclusive shopping, easy access to hotels, restaurants, and gyms, making it a popular choice for end-users and investors,” he added.

Buying motives vary from owning a trophy asset, capital appreciation potential, and having a holiday home all within a five-star development offering direct beach access and a host of premium resort-style facilities.