Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets to remain soft in 2019

The property slump in the emirates continues

Dubai marina at sunset. Sven Hansche/Shutterstock

The Dubai residential real estate market is likely to stay in the doldrums for a few more years, while market activity in Abu Dhabi is expected to remain subdued for at least the first six months of 2019, leading market observers reported.

Dubai will see the completion of about 31,500 homes by the end of the year, up from 22,000 homes completed in 2018, according to Craig Plumb, head of research for JLL Middle East via Bloomberg. Such incoming supply will be more than twice the average annual demand in the emirate over the last five years.

In Abu Dhabi, approximately 7,700 units have been scheduled for handover from the fourth quarter of 2018 through the first quarter of 2019, according to Cavendish Maxwell.

Yet prices have been on the wane, with apartment prices in the emirate’s investment zones dropping by 2.7 percent in the year to the third quarter of 2018. Villa and townhouse prices also followed a similar course, falling 4.2 percent over the period.

Residential values in Dubai have recorded a 25-percent downward slide since their peak in 2014, including a 10 percent drop last year.

Values in the emirate may yet drop by anywhere between 5 percent and 10 percent this year, although the market may not hit the bottom of the property clock until 2021, JLL suggested.