Dubai: A penthouse on the Palm that went for Dh102 million was the priciest deal in Dubai’s property market in 2017, while two villas at Emirates Hills went for Dh95 million and Dh90 million, respectively. When it comes to high-end villas, Emirates Hills recorded three of the top five deals, and accounted for Dh816 million worth of transactions last year.
But it was offplan sales that led the way for prime residential, according to data released by Luxhabitat, which says the category recorded volumes of Dh16 billion. The apartments at Downtown Dubai were the most sought after for off-plan purchases (at Dh5.8 billion), followed by the Dubai Creek Harbour (Dh2.9 billion) and Moham-med bin Rashid City (Dh2.7 billion).
Apart from the Dh102 million penthouse, part of Omniyat’s One Palm project, the Palm also provided the second and third most expensive offplan deals, with two plots going for Dh68.81 million and 61.47 million. A Bulgari resi-dence on Jumeirah Bay was in fourth spot, at Dh60 million.
There has been particularly “strong demand in offplan, especially in the higher segment and mostly situated on the beachfront,” said Brigitte Tenbergen, Associate Director. “Most of these developments will be handed over in 2018 or mid-2019. The existing developments are getting “tired” and clients are looking for contemporary design and open spaces with great views and good quality.”
But the secondary market was still able to hold its own, at least at the high-end of the market. The costliest deal on a ready apartment was the Dh36 million paid for a unit at the Volante, while Dh30 million changed hands for a unit at the Five Palm Jumeirah. An apartment at the La Reve tower went for Dh29.7 million, while the highest transaction involving a Burj Khalifa unit in 2017 was for Dh24.8 million.
The overall transaction numbers in the secondary prime residential space was Dh13.1 billion, up by about 10 per cent over 2016. The top 3 performing areas for high-end deals were Dubai Marina (transacting around Dh3.34 billion), followed by Palm Jumeirah (Dh2.32 billion) and Downtown Dubai (Dh1.54 billion).
In the offplan selling space, developers had to make some sort of give-and-take to seal the deal. Clearly, the broader market conditions had a say in the prices that even wealthy buyers were willing to pay.
“Sellers, having had a tough year, have accepted reality and adjusted prices accordingly to signpost their serious intention to sell,” said Sally Ann Ghai, Associate Director at Luxhabitat. “However, buyers should not take this signal of reasonableness as an invitation to charge in with even further low ball offers on already softened prices.” (The costliest deal Luxhabitat was involved in last year was for Dh60 million.)
“Buyers should be thankful that the market has responded to their accusations of price stubbornness, and appre-ciate they can now acquire a home at a relative bargain in 2018,” Ghai said. And they “should not interpret the rea-sonable pricing now appearing as a crash market portend, but rather a considered response to concrete sales data by reasonable sellers.”
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