Abu Dhabi’s Property Prices Remain StableWednesday, December 30, 2009
Property prices in Abu Dhabi remain stable in the quarter-four and buyers continued to look for distressed sales, a property consultancy said. A report by real estate consultancy Landmark Advisory showed that property prices in the capital remain stable as sellers and buyers in the market eagerly wait for clear signals from the development community indicating precise project delivery dates. October and November were two of the most active sales months of 2009 for the capital, with demand focused on close-to-completion developments such as Marina Square, Al Reef Villas, Sky Tower and Al Bandar, said real estate consultancy in its December sales guide for Abu Dhabi. Prices have not measurably appreciated as buyers continue to look for distressed sales, it said. Discussing the findings, Jesse Downs, Director of Research at the property consultancy firm, said that despite an increase in sales activity in the third quarter, demand levels since mid November have waned, leading to limited sales volumes in December. The sales guide shows that transactional prices have remained stable throughout the four quarter of 2009 and are not expected to increase until property is handed over in 2010. “Prices are only likely to increase for developments that are close to completion during 2010,” explained Downs.
“As these developments get closer to completion, transaction volumes are expected to increase, which could gradually lead to marginal price increases.” In terms of property listings, prices and inventory remained stable with asked prices registering only a marginal increase of 5-6 per cent. The exception is Al Bandar which has seen average asked prices decrease nine per cent since September 2009 to Dh1,500 per square foot. “This indicates that Al Bandar owners are now adjusting their price expectations,” explained Downs. “By reducing the price, Al Bandar is likely to start attracting more buyers that were until now focused on less expensive developments in Marina Square, which are currently transacting in the secondary market at Dh1,250-1,300 per square foot,” continued Downs. “Our findings show that while buyers through Q3 2009 were still primarily end-users, this demand segment is now waiting for clear signals of progress within these nearly completed developments before engaging in any activity. Only a small number of investors are currently active in the market. The postponement of delivery dates, most notably for Al Bandar and Marina Square (originally scheduled in Q4 2009) may be further restricting demand,” Downs concluded.Source: Khaleej Times