Stock - Dubai property
2023 could well be the year of offplan launches. But developers will keep close watch on demand patterns and on the global economy. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: What will property buyers in Dubai be looking for next?

Farmhouses? Island-based homes other than on the Palm or Jumeira Bay? Homes that define what ‘wellness living’ is all about? Need a home near a ‘beach’ or ‘lagoon’? Or under Dh2 million apartments with private pools? Or should you wait for details of the revamped ‘Dubai Islands’ master-development?

In Dubai, developers are covering all possible buyer choices - and with room to spare. Whether for investors or end-users, developers are lining up some impressive offplan projects for the 2023 class of property owners.

If it’s farmhouses that’s the buyer’s fancy, head out to The Valley on the Dubai-Al Ain Road (and near Sevens Stadium), as one of the newest projects from Emaar starts to take shape. Four- and five-bedroom villas are listed at Dh5 million plus.

“2023 sees Dubai’s offplan market start on a clean slate - new projects are being launched with new USPs (Unique Selling Points) and targeted at a new generation of buyers,” said a source at a leading developer. “Both overseas and resident buyers.

“Damac hit bull’s eye with its Lagoons launch last year, where the project’s main theme was to build around water elements. Tilal Al Ghaf (from Majid Al Futtaim Communities) scaled it up with two new ‘islands’ and targeted the super-rich. This is what demand is looking for - something different to buy into in Dubai. Buyer preferences too are changing post-pandemic.”

At Tilal Al Ghaf, Majid Al Futtaim Communities expanded the scale of the project through introducing two islands. Sales have launched at one of them.

At Tilal Al Ghaf, the mansions released to date carry Dh18 million plus price tags.

On the ‘waterfront'

Waterfront properties are still buyers’ favourites, and “if they cannot get it by sea, Dubai these days have more in-land waterfront destinations,” said an estate agent. “This is what’s been selling heavily in the last few months because the pricing options are wide, starting from Dh1.5 million. And going up to plenty more.”

Still Dubai's most checked out locations
According to Property Finder, Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Business Bay, Jumeirah Village Circle, Jumeirah Beach Residences and JLT continue to be key for apartment searches.

Palm’s ready for more action

Demand for Palm - whenever there’s a listing (though most sales happen through private networks) of existing homes - is rock-steady. There’s still more coming to join them, with Omniyat Properties running two projects simultaneously - Orla and AVA - and Alpago continues with its super-luxury villa cluster and the one-apartment-to-a-floor ‘Palm Flower’.

A year for offplan?

If current levels of demand sustain, developers will be busy launching new offplan projects and sales in the coming weeks. “The January and February demand patterns will define developer plans,” said a property consultant. “Apart from demand, they also need to look internally - at their cash flow, how the global economy is faring, currency fluctuations, building material prices, etc.. Everyone is building their defences if a global recession happens.”

Stock - Damac Lagoons
Damac's Lagoons proved an instant bestseller when it got off to the offplan sales part. Water remains an integral part of the in-land destination.

Most popular lookouts

According to Property Finder, the locations with the highest listings still are the established favourites - Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, Business Bay and Palm Jumeirah. “But the volume of listings in Zabeel, Mina Rashid, Wasl Gate and Dubai Healthcare City 2 grew 10 times (between January to November 2022),” the listings platform, which was recently acquired by Cavendish Maxwell, said in a recent statement. “And listings for villas and townhouses in Dubai Investments Park and Golf City grew dramatically by more than 14 times.” (The townhouses at Golf City are around Dh3.5 million.)

“2022 saw shifts in consumer behaviour - the market had a record-breaking performance due to rising demand, recent events and initiatives like the FIFA World Cup, the Golden Visa, and larger attempts to shift to a digitally driven economy,” said Scott Bond, Country Manager at Property Finder. “Hence, garnering more interest in the offplan market as evident in our search trends on our portal as well.”

Fancy a private pool?
A handful of developers in Dubai have tested the waters, so to speak, with apartment projects featuring private pools across multiple units. And some of these options are quite accessible in price terms, with one of them offering at 1 per cent monthly payments over a 6-year period.

There could be more such launches loaded with private pools to an apartment if sufficient demand builds for the early launches. "More space within the home, greenery options outside and a private pool - there are mid-priced homes forming part of the offplan pipeline," said a broker. "In 2023, we could see this category trending big."