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Half of Dubai tenants 'want to buy own property'

Just over half of tenants in Dubai plan to buy their own property, a survey suggests.

Core Savills’ Dubai Residential Sentiment Survey, conducted among 700 existing tenants, indicates a growing appetite to own, with 51 percent saying they plan to buy a property in Dubai “in the future” and 27 percent of those saying they intend to buy within the next 12 months.

A further 32 percent said they were “not sure”, but only 17 percent said they do not plan to buy at all.

The emerging desire to own a property is consistent with high yield levels in a majority of mainstream residential districts in Dubai, Core Savills said, adding that it was also a trend in line with “our previous forecast of a growing pool of buyers looking to enter the bottoming market, confirming the general optimism we are witnessing”.

Half of survey respondents said they believe Dubai residential real estate prices will recover within the next 12 months, and 22 percent said they had “no opinion”. A quarter said they did not believe the market would recover in that timeframe, while 3 percent “strongly disagreed” with the statement.

However, the majority of respondents said difficulty in accessing finance is the greatest deterrent to potential property buyers in Dubai, according to the survey, with 71 percent of saying regulations should be relaxed.

David Godchaux, CEO of Core Savills, said: “There is a major segment of tenants who are being kept away from ownership by the current regulations.

“Issues of affordability and mortgage regulations continue to weigh down upon the buying intent of the mainstream tenants who would welcome relaxation of the current mortgage regulations to provide relief to this large segment by particularly focusing on those who are buying to live thus keeping speculators away.”

Meanwhile, the survey found that Dubai Marina is the most popular residential district while Dubai Downtown came in second for respondents. Both of these locations accounted for more than a quarter of all responses, demonstrating their desirability particularly amid falling sales prices, Core Savills said.

Mid-segment villa communities including The Springs, The Meadows and The Lakes emerged as the most sought-after villa districts while newer suburban residential districts such as Dubailand and Dubai South are yet to garner similar interest levels.

Just under half (44 percent) of respondents predicted that Dubai Water Canal will become the next flagship development, ahead of Dubai South for 20 percen, Dubai Creek Harbour for 18 percent and Mohammed Bin Rashid City for 18 percent. 

The UK’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) was not considered to have a particularly significant impact on the Dubai property market, according to the survey, with 56 percent saying it will have a “neutral” effect.

A further 24 percent said it would bring positive benefits to the market, while 21 percent said they expect a negative outcome.

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