Property sales have fallen by up to 46% in parts of Dubai in last two years

Some parts of Dubai have seen residential property sales fall by more than 40% in the last two year but looking ahead the market is set to pick up in 2016.

Reports from the Unitas Consultancy and Reidin show that house sales in Dubai Marina, for example, fell to less than 1,500 in the first three quarters of 2015 compared to 2,250 during the same period in 2014, and down from 2,700 in 2013, a fall of 46%.

In Downtown Dubai the number of sales fell to 500 compared with 800 in 2014 and 750 in 2013, a 30% drop over two years and in the Greens the drop was around 42%, according to data from Reidin.

In Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) sales were flat in 2015 at 1,200 but down 31% from 1,600 in 2013, but the company said that the pace of decline in the same areas appeared to be slowing in the third quarter of 2015 and in some areas there has been a slight uptick.

For example, in JLT, there were around 400 transactions in the third quarter of 2015 compared with 390 in the same period last year but down from 600 in 2013 while in Downtown there were around 190 sales in the third quarter of this year, higher than 180 recorded in 2014 but still down on 210 in 2013.

However, in Dubai Marina there were around 400 transactions in the third quarter of this year, down from 450 the previous year and around 900 in 2013.

The report points out that sales are down by a maximum of 46% and a minimum of 30%, however, a comparison between the third quarter of 2014 and 2015 show an uptick in activity by an average of 8% has been recorded.

‘This uptick is likely due to the fall in prices that have been witnessed in this segment and we believe that this trend in the market will continue as prices will soften further. The rise in transaction volumes also indicates market expectations that participants feel that the fall in the market prices may be nearing an end,’ it adds.

The research also shows that sales in mid-priced properties in areas such as International City and Discovery Gardens have been more resilient since 2013, falling only 11% on average, compared to an overall average of 21% in high-end areas.

The report also found mortgages accounted for a larger portion of sales in 2015 compared to previous years. ‘Mortgages are considered to be an indication of home ownership, which highlights the shift of the market from an investor based to an owner occupied one,’ the report pointed out.

‘However, there are instances where mortgage transactions outweigh sales, especially in the periods of a downturn implying a higher number of refinancing and other types of transaction taking place,’ it added.