The demand for luxury property is seeing a rebound in Dubai, going by the widening spreads between prime and general real estate properties in the apartment and villa segment.

In a bull cycle, luxury properties outperform the city average in terms of price per sq ft and this is true across all global cities. During 2012 to 2014, the spread between prime and general real estate in Dubai kept widening as wealthy investors poured money into luxury properties. However, after the market sluggishness in 2014, affordable properties were in demand, resulting in a spread compression.

“However in the last 12 months, we have started to see a reversal in this trend as the spreads have begun to widen, indicating that on a relative basis, there is increasing demand for higher end properties. This widening of spreads is an indicator of a bull market, as was witnessed in the 2012 cycle,” says a new report issued by Global Capital Partners.

“Spread widening was witnessed at the inception of the 2012 bull market cycle, suggesting the onset of another general price rise, similar to phenomena that is witnessed in global real estate markets,” observes Hussain Alladin, head of Global Capital Partners.
After 2014, the spread between prime and general real estate properties narrowed by 340 per square foot in the apartment segment, and by 265 psf in the villa space. In this cycle, the demand of affordable housing was higher, thereby narrowing the spread between both segments, informs the report.

An inter-community analysis between prime and general spreads reveals a dichotomy between Dubai Marina and the Palm Jumeirah. In Marina, there has been a continuing narrowing of price differences between the prime segment relative to the overall market, suggesting that developers have aggregated towards a mean price. In the Palm Jumeirah, however, the luxury apartment market has outperformed, indicating that there has been greater variability in building quality as well as location.

Spreads between the Marina and Jumeirah Lakes Towers narrowed significantly from peak 2014 levels, as the market started looking for bargains and the trend of mid-income housing gathered pace.

“As luxury demand revives, spreads will widen, although not by a significant amount, as JLT has gentrified with premium developments,” adds Alladin.

In the villa space, Arabian Ranches has outperformed the Meadows/Springs community, primarily on account of costlier newer stock being released.

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