Dubai real estate: When is the ‘best time’ to buy property? Experts reveal

Dubai real estate experts have revealed the best time to buy property in the emirate.

According to Betterhomes’ Senior Sales Agent Calvin King, the “best time” to buy property in Dubai solely depends on personal circumstances and financial readiness.

“Currently, many residents who are renting and seeing price increases in Dubai are becoming future homeowners, those with job stability and long-term plans of staying in the country are eager to buy and own their own properties as well as investment properties, and professional investors are also making healthy profit margins,” King said, adding that “trying to ‘time’ the market however, is difficult and can result in missed opportunities.”

According to King, several considerations come into play, including supply and demand, interest rates, and prevailing market conditions.

Buy property when square foot rates are lower
Another expert, Haider Tuaima, Director and Head of Real Estate Research at ValuStrat, told Arabian Business that those who bought property in the emirate two to three years ago – when there was a trough in the market – made a wise decision as average price per square foot was lower.

“The average price per square foot was less than AED900; at the moment, that figure has increased to no less than AED1,300, which is AED100 higher than the price peaks of 2014,” Tuaima explained, adding that “due diligence is required before purchasing a home, particularly for villas and townhouses.”

The emirate’s real estate market experienced a surge in square foot rates following the COVID-19 pandemic due to several factors.

There was increased demand for larger homes as people sought more spacious living environments. Limited supply and high demand contributed to rising prices.

Following this, Dubai attracted a significant influx of high-net-worth individuals and investors, drawn by the city’s pro-business environment, favourable tax policies, and strategic location.

This further fuelled demand and drove up prices, particularly for luxury properties. Additionally, the Dubai government implemented initiatives to stimulate the real estate market, such as granting long-term visas and reducing investment barriers, which enhanced Dubai’s appeal and increased demand.

The strong post-pandemic economic recovery in Dubai, along with low-interest rates globally, also played a role in driving up real estate prices as investors sought alternative avenues for returns.

“The Dubai property market is maturing with increased transparency and improved regulations. The past two real estate cycles have shown that volatility in price movements became more predictable, with a deliberate balance in demand and supply put forward by Dubai authorities,” ValuStrat’s Tuaima added.

Buying ‘seasons’ in Dubai property market
When asked if there any specific seasons or months of the year when property prices in Dubai tend to be lower or more favourable for buyers, Tuaima said prices do not change based on seasons.

However, it has been observed that “ready homes sales volume during the third quarter is generally the lowest in a year.”

According to Betterhomes’ King “there may be seasons or months during the year with lower buyer activity.”

These include the summer months when most expat families go on vacation, during public holidays and festivals. “The transaction prices generally remain stable,” he said, adding that “those holding out for a Christmas, Ramadan or Black Friday discounts are unlikely to find them in Dubai real estate.”

Consider these when buying property in Dubai
When determining the opportune moment to invest in Dubai’s real estate market, several key factors come into effect.

According to Tuaima, the most favourable time to make a property purchase is during the market’s trough stage, which was seen in both 2010 and 2020.

“However, end-users will choose to buy only when they are ready and able to afford to do so, and they usually keep the investment for the long term. Investors may opt for rental yields, and that happens when rental values grow faster than capital values, we see this today with the majority of the apartment market,” he said.

Looking ahead, prospective buyers should be attuned to upcoming events, policy changes, and economic factors that could influence property prices in Dubai.

“The prospect of possibly lower mortgage rates in 2024 for financed buyers could further encourage tenants to switch to becoming owner-occupiers, as the current trend sees rents rise faster than capital values. The newly announced Dubai Metro line will likely impact demand within communities that will benefit from the transport links,” Tuaima added.

High interest areas for buyers in Dubai
Given Dubai’s dynamic real estate market, there is also a visible pattern of interest across various segments, catering to the needs and preferences of different buyer profiles, King said.

“For entry-level homeowners and investors, areas such as Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), Arjan, Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), Dubai South have attracted high interest due to affordability and new launches. Mid-level market areas, particularly the villa communities such as Arabian Ranches, The Springs, The Lakes and The Meadows are attracting homeowners due to convenient locations nearby family schools and work locations. Investors for these areas are seeing opportunities to modernise properties and rent at high rates or resell at profit,” he said.

Despite signs of a slowdown in the Russian market, the demand for luxury properties in Dubai remains robust, King explained, adding that European, Indian, and Middle Eastern buyers are actively investing in sought-after areas like Palm Jumeirah, Al Barari, and Emirates Hills.

“Off-plan launches and in particular, the new launch by Nakheel in Palm Jebel Ali recently saw hundreds of buyers and agents queuing on launch day for available units, seeing an opportunity to buy at the right time and price,” King said.

In addition, Tuaima said that Dubai could “see an acceleration in price growth within mid to affordable communities versus a slowdown in capital gains for high-end properties,” in areas of Discovery Gardens, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Jumeirah Village, Business Bay, The Greens and Dubai Production City.

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