Monday, August 17, 2009

Dubai likely to record 31,000 surplus residential units

According to a JP Morgan report, a surplus of 31,000 residential units could be recorded in Dubai, mainly due to the decline in expatriate population, while the shortage of units in Abu Dhabi is hoped to rise to 28,000 by the year-end.

In the short-term, the non-residential sector in the UAE will continue to be under pressure, owing to global financial crisis. However, historical shortage of both retail and commercial space in Abu Dhabi has kept tab against fall in leasing rates well below Dubai, reveals an investment bank report on MENA (Middle East North Africa) real estate.

Ever-since its peak during mid-2008, the average transaction volumes are down by 60 percent during the first half of 2009, compared to that during same period in 2008. Despite the slight pickup in transaction volumes recently, the supply overhand in Dubai property sector will touch 28,500 by end of the year, because of the modest economic forecast and negative population growth estimates, JP Morgan said.

Furthermore, after 2009, the JP Morgan says that the forecast of 3.5 percent population growth for Dubai is unlikely to absorb the surplus residential units, which according to Colliers International, will total to 25,000 per annum in the next three years.

However, given Dubai's large infrastructure investment, the city's positioning which makes it accessible to neighbouring economies out of which few are facing economic challenges, and Dubai being a liberal tax-free business-friendly destination, a surprise demand recovery from regional investors, exposed to less stable geo-political environments, cannot be ruled out, the Bank concludes.

Contrastingly, the short-term supply of homes in Abu Dhabi is fairly limited. The high occupancy levels are unlikely to ease from near 100 percent any time soon, the Bank said.

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