Posted inOpinion

Opinion: What’s behind the demand for bigger Dubai real estate?

Dubai continues to be the place where homebuyers get more bang for their buck, but what does it mean for the market?

The Dubai real estate market has long been characterised by its propensity for offering small to medium-sized residential units. This trend is not unique to Dubai, as cities like Singapore, Hong Kong, and New York have also seen developers focusing on smaller units due to limited space and affordability concerns.

However, recent shifts in the market, driven by an influx of high-end homebuyers, are changing the landscape of Dubai’s real estate offerings.

Recognising this emerging trend, developers in Dubai have started building larger serviced units to cater to the needs of these buyers.

Shifting preferences in a changing world

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, some major developers in Dubai were considering removing kitchens from home layouts to make room for other useful living spaces. This was largely due to the fact that many residents in Dubai often order food and dine out instead of cooking at home.

However, the pandemic has brought about significant changes in the way people live and work, leading to a renewed interest in well-equipped living spaces.

With an increasing number of high-end homebuyers, including Russians and Europeans flocking to Dubai, there is now a growing demand for larger, serviced living spaces.

Affluent investors and homeowners are used to spending an average of $1-2 million on a house in cities like Hong Kong and London, where they would typically get a smaller house. In Dubai, the same amount can buy a larger serviced unit with a decent kitchen, making it an attractive proposition for these buyers.

Developers respond

Recognising this emerging trend, developers in Dubai have started building larger units to cater to the needs of these high-end homebuyers. The Palm Jumeirah is witnessing the construction of larger units by developers such as MAG.

Previously, developers like MAG had not been launching big units, focusing instead on smaller, more affordable options. Now, they are creating luxury products that are fully serviced to cater to the demands of this new clientele.

Other developers, such as Nakheel and DAMAC, are also capitalising on this trend. They are investing in the construction of larger units, building more spacious and luxurious living spaces to attract high-end homebuyers.

This shift in focus is a testament to the adaptability of Dubai’s real estate market, which has long been known for its ability to respond quickly to changing trends and preferences.

However, not all developers are jumping on the bandwagon. Emaar is staying true to their legacy and offering larger units only in their villas. This is likely a strategic move, as it allows them to maintain a distinct brand identity and cater to a specific segment of the market.

Implications for property prices and rents

The shift towards larger residential units in Dubai has several implications for the city’s real estate market. It signifies that there is a growing demand for luxury properties in the emirate, driven by an influx of high-end homebuyers.

This could potentially lead to an increase in property prices in the luxury segment, as developers scramble to meet the demand.

This trend could also have a ripple effect on the rest of the market as more developers start to offer larger units. As these bigger residences become more commonplace, smaller units may become less desirable and see a decrease in demand. This could lead to an oversupply of smaller units, which may ultimately result in a drop in their prices.

The shift towards larger units may also impact the rental market in Dubai. With more high-end homebuyers purchasing larger properties, there could be a decline in the demand for rental properties, particularly in the luxury segment.

This may lead to a decrease in rental prices as landlords compete for a shrinking pool of potential tenants.

Transforming through resilience and versatility

This emerging trend is a clear indication of the city’s ability to adapt to changing market dynamics. As developers respond to this demand by constructing larger, more luxurious and serviced units, the real estate market in Dubai is set to undergo significant transformations.

It remains to be seen how these changes will ultimately impact property prices and the rental market, but one thing is certain: the Dubai real estate market is continuously evolving to meet the needs of its diverse investors and homebuyers.

It continues to be the place where homebuyers get more bang for their buck.