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Abu Dhabi property markets stay positive in Q3

Abu Dhabi, November 4, 2013

The office, residential, retail and hospitality real estate market sectors in Abu Dhabi have shown continued stability, supported by major government investment initiatives and positive sentiment, a report said.

“We can observe that in three successive quarters this year, the market has continued to show signs of stabilisation and in some cases positive growth and recovery,” said David Dudley, regional director and head of Abu Dhabi office at Jones Lang LaSalle, Mena, a leading real estate investment and advisory firm, commenting on the company’s third quarter (Q3) 2013 Abu Dhabi Market Overview.

“The prime residential sales market has proven to be the best performing segment this year, with an increase in transaction volumes and quarter-on-quarter growth in sales prices for prime stock. The prime residential rental, retail, hospitality and office sectors have remained stable and are poised for recovery as supply and demand become more balanced.

“This continued stability is highly positive for the market but recovery remains selective in terms of quality of location, design and management – leading to product differentiation and two-tier performance between high grade and low grade property,” he added.

Summary highlights:

•    The third quarter of 2013 saw the continued recovery of the prime residential market, while the retail, hospitality and prime office sectors all remained relatively stable and poised for future recovery.

•    The residential market recovery remains restricted to prime locations, with secondary sub-sectors continuing to decline.

•    Despite the market-wide over supply in most sectors, there remains a shortage of high quality stock. This is driving product differentiation and creating two-tier performance, between high grade and low grade property.

•    Short-term demand will be fuelled by progress on major new projects (such as the airport expansion, Etihad Rail, the Saadiyat Island museums and other major infrastructure, economic and social development initiatives).

•    Long-term market recovery will be dependent on the government’s ongoing initiatives to diversify the economy and generate sustainable demand growth.

•    A sustainable recovery also requires the government to implement further supply controls, as a key trend during 2013 has been developers re-looking at schemes that had been placed on hold following the market downturn.

•    There were no major completions in the office market with rents remaining unchanged for both Grade A and B space during Q3 2013. Significant additions to supply are expected in Q4 that will continue to place downward pressure on rents for secondary space.

•    Residential stock increased by around 2,700 units in Q3. Additions to supply included buildings within Rawdhat and Danet on Airport Road, Mangrove Place on Reem Island, the Khor Al Raha apartments by ADNIC at Al Raha Beach, Al Reef Downtown in Al Reef and additional units within Aldar’s Al Falah community.

•    The residential sales market witnessed 5 per cent price growth during Q3 2013 (prime product in Investment Areas), following on from a similar (5 per cent) growth during Q2 and 8 per cent growth during Q1.

•    Prime residential rents remained unchanged at AED 130,000 (average rent for 2 bedroom apartment) in Q3, while secondary residential rents continued to fall.

•    Retail stock increased by approximately 112,000 sq m of GLA this quarter, with the delivery of The Collection at the St Regis on Saadiyat Island, the Galleria at Sowwah Square on Al Maryah Island and Deerfields Townsquare in Al Bahia.

•    A further 143,000 sq m of retail GLA is scheduled for handover in the last quarter of 2013, although some of these projects are likely to be delayed into 2014.

•    The hotel sector continues to witness new supply with the St Regis hotel at Nation Towers delivering around 300 new keys this quarter.

•    The hotel market is approaching the bottom, with occupancies increasing to 64 per cent (year to August), and RevPAR up by 9 per cent compared to 2012. Although ADR’s are still under pressure, the hotel market has also benefited from a slowdown in new supply.

“The short to medium term market outlook remains positive, driven by major government-backed construction projects such as the airport expansion, Etihad Rail, Saadiyat museums and major new malls,” Dudley said.

“However, a long term sustainable market recovery remains dependent on further government initiatives to diversify the economy and generate new employment growth. A sustainable recovery is also dependent on the government continuing to implement further supply controls to ensure a balanced real estate market going forward.”

“The Abu Dhabi market looks positive in the medium term, but there will be selective strong performers specific to sectors, locations, user requirements, property management and overall infrastructure,” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: abu dhabi | real estate | Jones Lang LaSalle | residential |

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