Dubai property: Buying and renting villas skyrockets during coronavirus crisis

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Interest from buyers and renters in villas throughout Dubai skyrocketed throughout the emirate’s coronavirus lockdown, data compiled by UAE property portal Bayut showed.

Between February and March, interest in villas ready for sale jumped by 42.6 percent, Bayut said, with searches for villas continuing to rise by 25.6 percent month-on-month in April.

“It’s understandable why this segment has captured consumer interest at a time when there has been a heightened need for private living arrangements with safe, outdoor spaces,” Bayut said in a statement.

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Authorities have been attempting to curb the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, and have introduced large stimulus measures to encourage the economy to continue to grow. Analysts and experts have predicted that the UAE is likely in a better position to grow once the COVID-19 crisis has dimmed.

“With the increased loan-to-value (LTV) rates which were announced in the first half of March 2020, it has also become easier for first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder. The initial financial outlay has significantly reduced and the buyer-friendly environment has enabled people to negotiate more favorable prices with sellers,” Bayut added.

Bayut found that buyers were most interested in villas located in Arabian Ranches, The Villa and Palm Jumeirah, with a majority of potential homeowners looking at units with a budget of 2.4 million dirhams ($654,000).

Interest also registered an uptick for more expensive properties priced between 3-8 million dirhams between March and April compared to the two months prior, Bayut added.

In the villa rental segment, searches by prospective tenets increased 13.1 percent and 11.4 percent in March and April, respectively. Renters typically were looking for units priced under 120,000 dirhams in family-friendly areas including Mirdif, Jumeirah, Akoya Oxygen and Arabian Ranches.

Dubai apartments for sale up, rentals down

Interest in apartments in Dubai for sale also increased throughout the pandemic, but at a lower rate than villas, the data showed, with interest increasing 4 percent in March and 9.4 percent in April.

Well-established communities saw the most interest including Dubai Marina, Downturn Dubai, and JVC with affordable prices under 600,000 dirhams.

Apartment rentals, however, were the one segment that did not see searches increase, Bayut said.

Searches for rental apartments in Dubai went down 2.2 percent in March, and 8.9 percent in April. Prospective tenants were looking for affordable units between 45,000-65,000 dirhams in areas including JVC, Dubai Marina and Al Nahda.

“While this is expected to recover in due course when more viewings are possible, it could also indicate a fundamental shift in housing priorities for end users. The current situation has highlighted the importance of safety, privacy and the sense of personal space. Having luxuries like a private garden or private beach access can significantly enhance your ability to cope in such challenging times,” Bayut concluded.

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