While off-plan sales had been under pressure at the start of the year, this does not seem to be enough of a reason for some residential developers to push hard into the market. Off-plan transactions dropped around 28 per cent during the first quarter, according to reports, with analysts attributing the decline to the recent introduction of stricter off-plan sales regulations and the large number of choices currently in the market.
“What’s important is you price your product right,” Latif Habib, CEO of L-I-V Developers, tells PW in explaining his company’s decision to launch the sales of its flagship project, LIV Residence in Dubai Marina, during the quarter in question. “A lot of people are very comfortable with the prices that we have.”
What’s important is you price your product right
- Latif Habib
Prices at LIV Residence start at around Dh1,550 per square foot, which is right at the sweet spot in terms of average rates in Dubai Marina. Habib says units launched in February were sold out within six weeks. The company has started selling a new set of units, which include a two-bedroom apartment with full marina view starting at Dh1.79 million.
However, apart from setting the right price point, Habib notes there are far more factors at play that help generate sales traction, especially when market forces seem to be pushing the other way.
“I think what makes us different in general as a brand is that a lot of our efforts have been driven by a lot of extensive research,” says Habib. “We have spoken to a lot of clients in this area to discover exactly what is necessary.”
The project, which has a contemporary design with open-plan kitchens and floor-to-ceiling windows, caters to a broad market base with a choice of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and penthouses. Taking cue from the findings of the company’s research, most of the two-bedroom units will include a maid’s room, which Habib says will fill a supply gap in the community.
The project has a contemporary design with open-plan kitchens and floor-to-ceiling windows
“We’ve added a maid’s room to 80 per cent of our two-bedders, so this way a family doesn’t have to incur an additional cost to move up to a bigger apartment.”
A big part of any project’s success is its accessibility, and LIV Residence ticks the right boxes in this category.
“The area allows residents to come down and walk across the street to the beach,” says Ishan Khwaja, director at L-I-V Developers. “You can walk down the street and get on a tram. If you have a car, you can quickly access Shaikh Zayed Road, with three different accesses to it, so you’re not stuck basically.”
Built in a section Habib describes as the five-star quarter, the project is also close to a number of five-star hotels and a bevy of food and beverage outlets.
The project will also have its own retail offerings in a three-level podium, as well as the usual amenities such as a gym, children’s play area, barbecue and garden areas, pool and a lobby.
Beach access is also one of the main attractions of the property as it is just a short walk away from the Marina’s famed beachfront. However, the company is taking this incentive a step further by offering homeowners access to the beach amenities of a nearby five-star hotel.
“L-I-V is also breaking the mould by offering a luxury element to the LIV lifestyle, with an exclusive five-star beach and tennis membership at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa,” the company said in a statement.
Habib adds: “That’s all available to every buyer.”
Don’t make them wait too long
Another feature of this off-plan project that is likely to appeal to eager homebuyers is that it was almost halfway through its three-year construction timeline when sales were launched early this year. This means that, barring hitches, buyers will not have to wait much longer until the scheduled handover in the second quarter of next year.
We’ve spent quite a lot of our resources, funds and time perfecting the design, as well as making sure construction progress was well advanced before we started sales.
- Ishan Khwaja
“Construction started in September 2016,” says Khwaja. “We’ve spent quite a lot of our resources, funds and time perfecting the design, as well as making sure construction progress was well advanced before we started sales. The whole concept of LIV Residence is for the customer to be able to see and feel tangible results.”
The show apartment, called the LIV Lounge, is located in L-I-V’s offices in a tower right across the marina from the project. The proximity, says Khwaja, helps make the home-buying process an experience in itself.
“The concept is for them to be able to go to the construction site, see the location [and] also the progress of construction,” adds Khwaja. “They can see the building moving along floor by floor, and then walk or take a short drive to our sales experience centre, which is the LIV Lounge, and get up-to-date information and see the actual finish.”
UP CLOSE: LIV Residence
Project: LIV Residence Dubai Marina
Location: Dubai Marina
Type: Off-plan residential
Developer: L-I-V Developers
Residences: Studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and penthouses
Price: Studios from Dh749,000, one-bedders from Dh1.19 million, two-bedders from Dh1.79 million
Completion: Q2 2019
Standout feature: Residents will have access to the beach amenities of a nearby five-star hotel
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