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Abu Dhabi’s Real Estate Market Stable In Q3 2014
(22 October 2014)

The Abu Dhabi real estate market was left relatively unchanged, with little or no movement on average in residential sales or leasing prices. Modest price increases and decreases were recorded in localised communities, however growing confidence and improved investor sentiment is likely to support sustainable growth in the short to medium term, according to Asteco’s Q3 2014 real estate report.

Although average apartment sales prices changed little quarter-on-quarter, a 28% increase was witnessed annually to end of Q3 2014. This trend was mirrored by villa sales prices, which were flat during the third quarter, despite the limited availability of stock, but still achieved an average annual increase of 14% across the market.

“The popularity of developments within investment areas is a trend that continues to be simulated quarter on quarter as sales prices firm up. The sales volumes achieved by Aldar on the Ansam and Al Hadeel projects at Al Raha Beach and Yas Island have highlighted the robust demand for the right type of product within Investment Zones,” said Jerry Oates, General Manager, Asteco Abu Dhabi.

The market also received a considerable vote of confidence with the launch of the Mamsha Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island. The 400 plus luxury residential unit, comprising of one to four-bedroom apartments and townhouses commands an average sales price of AED 2,000 per square foot, and will act as a catalyst for additional projects expected to be launched in 2015, further outlining the growth potential over the next three to four years.

“Market sustainability will be enhanced still further by a range of new to market developments in 2015, this, combined with a more transparent market for UAE national investors through Abu Dhabi’s rental index, which benchmarks and regulates maximum rental increases will encourage future growth in the UAE capital,” he added.

Growth for low to mid-end apartment unit developments, such as Reef Downtown, dropped a further 2% in Q3, implying that Q1 2014 prices highlighted a peak for the area. Prices, however ranged from AED 900 to AED 1,100 revealing an impressive 52% year-on-year increase. Raha Beach / Al Muneera were static, asking prices were nudging AED 1,500 per square foot, bringing year-on-year growth to a healthy 24%. 

A three-bedroom home in Hydra Village remained at AED 1.3 million recording year-on year growth of 21%  while standard Saadiyat Beach Villas topped out at AED 5.5 million for three bedrooms, highlighting an 11% increase annually.

Rental rates for prime residential apartments in Abu Dhabi remained relatively stable with certain developments such as Sun & Sky Towers achieving close to full occupancy. Rates in Marina Square witnessed a decrease of 3%, as Reem Island became more competitive due to a number of new units coming on line, including The Gate Towers, Aldar’s landmark development.

For low end properties on Abu Dhabi Island, including Central Abu Dhabi, the Corniche and Khalidiya/Bateen, a quarter-on-quarter decrease of 5%, 2% and 4% respectively with prices for a two-bed apartment topping out at AED 90,000, AED 80,000 and AED 100,000 for each location. Investment areas such as Reef Downtown saw no growth quarter-on-quarter however witnessed an annual increase of 26%. 

The rental market for villas echoed that of apartments as high-end villa rental rates remained stable despite limited new supply. A three-bed property on Abu Dhabi Island in Bloom Gardens saw a quarter-on-quarter increase of 5% averaging between AED 190,000 and AED 240,000. Affordable locations, including Hydra Village and Al Reef, leased for AED 95,000 and AED 140,000 per annum respectively, representing annual growth of 2% and 11% respectively.

Abu Dhabi office rental rates recorded moderate quarter-on-quarter growth of 3% for Grade A fitted commercial space whereas ‘average quality’ Grade B commercial rates remained stable, for both fitted and shell & core.

The office market leveled out in the mid to high-end areas, Grade A office space achieved net effective rental rates estimated at AED 1,700 per square metre for fully fitted space; an indication that rental rates have now bottomed out. Significant improvements in infrastructure, retail, available services as well as a range of competitive rates and incentives has had a positive impact on demand for offices on Reem Island, particularly for both Sky Tower at Shams Abu Dhabi and Tamouh Tower at Marina Square.


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