House sales at the more affordable end of the market have driven Dubai’s real estate transactions market in the first nine months of the year, according to listings portal Property Finder.

Properties costing Dh1.5 million or below recorded 18,858 transactions during the period, up 11 per cent year-on-year.

“This indicates that Dubai real estate is no longer only a playground for the wealthy but has something to offer the budget-conscious buyer in equal measure. The softening in house prices is steadily making Dubai property more affordable to investors and end-users,” Property Finder said in a statement.

Off-plan sales accounted for the majority of deals with 10,989 transactions during the period, data from the real estate listings portal showed.

For higher-priced properties, Dubai saw 6,888 deals for homes valued between Dh1.5m to Dh3m during the first nine months of 2019 and 2,196 transactions for properties valued between Dh3m to Dh5m.

There were 726 deals for properties valued between Dh5m to Dh10m and 520 transactions for properties worth more than Dh10m, according to Property Finder.

Off-plan sales accounted for a bigger share of transactions for properties below Dh3m whereas secondary market sales contributed a far bigger share in deals for properties worth Dh5m and above, suggesting both investors and end-users have a preference for less pricey off-plan projects backed by post-handover payment plans.

The report also said total off-plan sales across all categories were up 23.6 per cent to 16,066 units year-on-year in the first nine months of 2019.

“There are many units set to be completed which fall within the affordable category, therefore when they become available in the market, we should expect to see sales activity in the secondary market continue to increase over the next year,” said Lynnette Abad, director of data and research, Property Finder.

Dubai Hills Estate witnessed the highest number of off-plan sales with 1,700 transactions and Downtown Dubai saw 1,690 deals during the period. Dubai Creek Harbour, Dubai South and Meydan were the other top areas for off-plan sales.

Demand for ready or newly-completed properties remained steady year-on-year, with 13,122 units sold by the end of September this year as against 12,986 for the same period last year.

In a separate report on Wednesday, consultancy JLL said that more than 6,300 new homes were completed in Dubai during the third quarter , bringing the total completions so far this year to 23,000 and the total residential stock to about 542,000. A further 33,000 units are scheduled to complete by the end of the year but the firm said “we remain cautious on the timely delivery” of these.

It also highlighted that developers seem to be taking action in terms of slowing supply, given the recent introduction of a new higher committee for real estate in the emirate.

So far this year, projects containing just 7,800 new units have been launched, which is the lowest number for the past three years.

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