The Changes in the Property Market Landscape since COVID-19

  • September 07, 2020

(Image Credit: Gulf News)

As the country enters a new emerging market post-covid-19, the property market was quick to adjust to a new landscape and leaders in the real estate sector became more competitive.

The factors leading to a shift in the property market is not only due to the effects of the pandemic but also because of the various initiatives the UAE government has set in place aimed at driving the economy and stimulating demand in the real estate sector.

Following a few years of economic slowdown, an oversupply of developments and low demand in real estate along with the anticipation to the Expo, the real estate sector in the UAE is starting to show signs of stabilization – thanks to the ongoing positive initiatives of the government.


Government Initiatives Promoting Stimulus

Since 2019, the UAE government has announced several initiatives that promotes buyers and investors in the country. The decline in the real estate prices is likely to increase the number of homebuyers in the region instead of renting them.

One of the first initiatives announced in 2019 is the much-awaited opening up of the Abu Dhabi market to freehold properties for foreign investors. This is the first time that the Emirate has allowed foreign buyers to own a property within the emirate’s investment areas on a freehold basis. Freehold residential projects were also launched in Sharjah.

Additionally, the UAE has since introduced long-term UAE residency visas. The new permanent residency “golden card” scheme is granted to exceptional investors and workers in the country. This initiative is placed in order to also meet supply-demand mismatch in the country.

These initiatives which we have witnessed has contributed to the spike in sales transactions in the end of 2019 and well enough into the first quarter of 2020.


New Trends and Drivers for residential demand

Vertical farming, indoor gardens, balconies, and communal outdoor areas are the new trends that have influenced the UAE real estate economy. The increase in inquiries for more room and larger outdoor spaces have also been witnessed by Dubai-based real estate broker RealChoice. After months of lockdown due to sanitation measures imposed by the authorities, people have been displaced from offices and project sites to work remotely from their homes. And we are not different from that. Our homes have become an extension of our offices, playgrounds and so much more.

People nowadays place high importance and preference in residential properties that offer outdoor spaces. In fact, some of the inquiries most real estate brokerages are receiving nowadays are the availability of a swimming pool, a backyard with a garden or a park, and walkways within the community. As homebuyers or renters, people are now seeking properties that are versatile enough allowing them to convert their bedrooms into workstations as such.

Leading developers in the country have also become more competitive than ever following the supply-demand rule. Developers have become more conscious in planning their launches and modifying their products based on demand. This year you will also find the pricing of properties to be friendly for both buying and renting properties. According to a report by the Property Monitor Dynamic Price Index, prices trend across 42 communities in Dubai have become increasingly affordable among the population in the UAE.

More investors and buyers are also enticed given the flexible or deferred payment schemes. Among the most competitive community developers in the country are Emaar, Nakheel, Deyaar, Damac and Azizi in Dubai and Aldar in Abu Dhabi.