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Dubai real estate market on a high with $12.55 billion transactions in May 2024  

The number of off-plan transactions in Dubai climbed to an impressive 11,107, surpassing the previous peak set in April 2009 by 13%

Dubai real estate market on a high with $12.55 billion transactions in May 2024

In May 2024, Dubai’s real estate sector reached an unprecedented milestone according to data revealed by Property Finder. The total number of transactions reached 17,713, marking a significant 53% increase compared to May 2023. The value of these transactions also saw a notable rise of 38%, reaching $12.55 billion (AED 46.5 billion). This surge in activity surpassed previous peaks, with transaction volume exceeding the March 2024 peak by 10% and transaction value surpassing the December 2023 peak by 30%.

Cherif Sleiman, Chief Revenue Officer at Property Finder, stated, “May 2024 has once again proven that real estate growth in the UAE is here to stay. We have seen a remarkable spike in volume and value of transactions not just from a year-on-year perspective, but also exceeding pre-pandemic numbers.”

What were the other key highlights from the real estate standpoint? Let’s find out…

Is Dubai an end-user market?

According to the data, a majority of property seekers who were interested in owning property were looking for apartments (59%), while the rest were searching for villas/townhouses (41%). Among apartment seekers, 32% were interested in one-bedroom units, 36% preferred two-bedroom apartments, and 14% searched for studios. On the other hand, those looking for villas/townhouses are divided between three-bedroom units (40%) and four-bedroom or larger options (46%).

The most popular areas for ownership included Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Village Circle, Business Bay, and Palm Jumeirah. For those interested in villas/townhouses, Dubai Hills Estate, Dubai South (Dubai World Central), Al Furjan, Arabian Ranches, and Palm Jumeirah were the top choices. It is worth noting that interest in Dubai South is on the rise, particularly due to the development of Al Maktoum International Airport, which has led to an increased consideration for mixed-use communities.

What is driving the rental market?

The majority of tenants, accounting for 78%, were in search of apartments, while the remaining 22% were considering villas/townhouses. Of those seeking apartments, 58% preferred furnished properties, while 40% opted for unfurnished options. Among tenants interested in villas/townhouses, approximately 57% were looking for unfurnished units, and 42% were interested in furnished properties.

In terms of apartment preferences, 35% were searching for one-bedroom units, 33% preferred two-bedroom apartments, and 19% were interested in studios. For those interested in villas/townhouses, there was a more even distribution, with 43% looking for three-bedroom units and 38% seeking four-bedroom or larger options.

The top areas on the radar of renters included Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Village Circle, Downtown Dubai, Business Bay, and Jumeirah Lake Towers. On the other hand, popular areas among tenants looking to rent villas/townhouses were Jumeirah, Dubai Hills Estate, Damac Hills 2, Umm Suqeim, and Al Barsha.

Off-plan vs ready homes: Who triumphed?

In May 2024, the off-plan property market saw a significant increase in both volume and value of transactions, reaching a record-breaking 11,107 transactions. This marks a 13% rise from the previous peak in April 2009, indicating a promising trend for long-term investment in the country. The total value of off-plan transactions in May 2024 amounted to approximately $6.129 billion (AED 22.7 billion), surpassing the previous high in September 2023 by 25%.

Meanwhile, the ready/existing property market saw a year-on-year increase of 8.8% in volume, totalling 6,606 transactions. The value of these transactions also saw a notable 21% increase year-on-year, reaching around $6.426 billion (AED 23.8 billion) compared to $5.319 billion (AED 19.7 billion) in May 2023.

“The record-breaking rise in off-plan investments shows a growing demand for community-centric living and long-term investments with the potential for high returns, and this is being met by several new projects in the pipeline, catering to a variety of price points ensuring upcoming communities are not limited to a certain level of affluence,” concludes Sleiman.