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Off-plan sales dominated the market in 2017 with attractive sales prices and payment plans for a wider base of buyers. During the same period, secondary market sales remained fairly consistent with traditional favourites Dubai Marina and International City leading the apartment tally and most recently Akoya Oxygen, Emirates Living and International City being the top performing areas for villas/townhouses.
Since the start of this year, there has been a slight decline in apartment secondary sales year on year, from 4,026 during January to April 2017 to 3,395 during January to April 2018. However, the top three locations remain consistent year on year. For apartments, the top three areas for secondary sales in the first four months of 2018 were Dubai Marina with 493 transactions, Dubai Sports City with 416, and International City with 326. The volumes during the same period in 2017 were similar for these three locations.
In April 2018, the average sales price according to the Property Monitor Index for apartments in Dubai Marina was AED 1,226,669 for a studio, AED 1,238,236 for a one-bedroom, and AED 1,739,673 for a two-bedroom. By comparison, in Dubai Sports City, the average sales price for an apartment was AED 528,403 for a studio, AED 782,955 for a one-bedroom and AED 1,081,395 for a two-bedroom. Gross investment yields stand at 6.12% in Marina, 9.32% in Dubai Sports City and 8.82% in International City.
Villas/townhouses tell a slightly different story, with overall villa/townhouse secondary transfers increasing in 2018 in comparison to the same period last year. At the end of April 2018, these totaled 1,060. Emirates Living and Arabian Ranches remain popular areas for villa/townhouse transfers however Akoya Oxygen by Damac has taken the top spot for secondary villa/townhouse sales in 2018 thus far with 157 transactions. Emirates Living comes in second place with 155 transfers, followed by International City with 95 and Arabian Ranches with 85 transfers.
The total secondary market transfers from January to April 2017 vs 2018 can be seen below.
Almost 40% of all secondary transactions in Dubai Marina in 2018 have been between 500-1,000 sq ft which is a slight decrease in the popularity of this unit type from the same period in 2017. More transfers have occurred in the 1,000-1,500 sq ft size bracket this year. Majority of the transactions year to date are for units greater than AED 2 million, and one-bed room apartments still make up the majority of the transactions with 45% of the total secondary market transactions during 2018 to date.
Price movement in the last 12 months has varied not only between communities but also among different buildings within the same community, thus reflecting greater differentiation in how available properties are now trading. This differentiation is expected to continue as buyers have an increasing supply base to choose from and property fundamentals such as developer track record, proximity to social and public infrastructure, ease of access, maintenance, among other factors will drive price movement.
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