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Dubai investors buoyant over real estate market amid reports of slowdown

More than 50 per cent of buyers are upbeat about the continuing growth of Dubai’s property market in the next 12 months

The majority of investors in Dubai remain upbeat over the city’s real estate scene, even as several industry reports suggest a slowdown in the property market, a new survey reveals.

The study, by Internet-based market research firm YouGov, shows that more than 50 per cent of buyers are buoyant about the continuing growth in the emirate’s real estate market over the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 58 per cent of the 861 residents surveyed expect an increase in sales and rental prices over the next year.

The survey, conducted for Informa, organisers of Cityscape Global, shows that location is a significant factor in determining where investors purchase their properties across the nation.

While 56 per cent find properties near public transportation the most attractive, 44 per cent prefer to buy properties close to grocery stores. Those located near retail shopping malls are in demand for more than 40 per cent, while 37 per cent of residents choose based on the property’s proximity to mosques.

“The study highlights positive sentiment across the board. Investors, potential home buyers as well as real estate professionals are expecting growth to continue in the Dubai real estate market in the coming year. The most positive news is the extent of trust investors place in the residential property market, which reveals the high potential this sector has and the importance of understanding what appeals most prospective buyers,” says Lara Al Barazi, YouGov’s Head of Real Estate Research.

Earlier this year, research firms and rating agencies said in their industry reports that Dubai’s property market was witnessing a downward correction after it peaked in October 2014.

In its “UAE Property Review – Q2 2015” report for Dubai, leading real estate consultancy Asteco said that the property market was edging further south, as rental rates for apartments and villas across the city declined by two per cent in the second quarter, compared with the first three months till April 30.

According to leading real estate, investment and advisory firm Jones Lang LaSalle’s (JLL) selling prices of properties dropped by an average of eight per cent since June 2014.

International rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) said in June that property prices in the city’s residential housing market were expected to fall by ten to 20 per cent this year.