More than 70% of UAE residents are still paying the same or a higher rent for their home than twelve months ago, according to the yallacompare Consumer Confidence Tracker for Q2 2019.
The finding comes despite widely reported declines in rental rates over the last year. According to data from property finder, quoted in The National, apartment rents in Dubai fell 5% year on year in the first half of 2019 and are 21% lower than they were two years ago. Villa rents also fell in several key areas of Dubai, including The Meadows (down 18.1% year on year in the first half) and Al Furjan (down 7.8% year on year).
Despite these figures, 33.1% of Tracker respondents said they were paying more rent in Q2 than they were a year ago. Additionally, 37.5% of respondents are paying about same. Only 29.2% of respondents are paying less. More than 1,000 UAE residents took place in the survey, which takes place every quarter and asks a range of questions on the state of UAE residents’ finances and their attitudes towards work.
“The headline finding here, that 70% of us pay the same or more than a year ago does seem surprising,” said Jonathan Rawling, CFO, yallacompare. “But as we’ve said before: if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
“Residents must negotiate better terms with their landlords at least three months before a lease expires. Otherwise, the contract automatically renews on existing terms. So, start negotiating and be prepared to move house if your landlord won’t budge.”
Tracker data suggests that residents are generally reluctant to move home. Nearly 63% of respondents are in the same house they were in a year ago, while 26% are in a smaller home and just 11.4% have shifted to a bigger one.
More than two thirds of respondents (67.3%) are not planning to move in the next year. Nearly 23% plan to relocate to a smaller home, while nearly 10% plan to move to a bigger one.
Asked how much more or less rent they’re paying than a year ago, 8.2% said they’re paying more than 20% more than last year, whereas 19.6% said they’re paying between five and 10% more than last year. Just 6.7% of Tracker respondents are paying 5-10% less than last year, while 10.5% achieved a reduction of lower than 5%. Only 3% are paying more than 10% less than last year.