Jumeira Bay's limited inventory of land and homes are doing enough to keep pushing prices higher. Even in triple-digit terms. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Talk about selling at a high – the Jumeira Bay land that just sold for Dh125 million came to Dh5,115 per square foot. And that’s a whopping 242 per cent increase on the previous price point for this prized untouched plot at one of the most in-demand waterfront locations in Dubai.

In fact, plots and properties on Jumeira Bay have been delivering some outsized gains for the developer or owner, as the case may be. Earlier this month, a two-bedroom apartment at the island’s Bulgari Residences drew a Dh21 million deal – but what has to rate as an eye-popping Dh10,155 a square foot, according to the portal DXBInteract.com.

The gain for the seller on this deal? A straight out 147 per cent, according to the portal.

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It doesn’t end there, also this month, Jumeira Bay oversaw two other property transactions valued at Dh11,000 plus per square foot. “Sellers who waited patiently to close their deals on their plots/properties on Jumeira Bay are clearly getting what they wanted,” said a property consultant. “No other location in Dubai is fetching these kinds of returns for now. Even other prime waterfront destinations.

“Jumeira Bay kept the number of properties and plots steady right through – that’s why buyers are willing to pay these sorts of premiums to buy a home. Or build one themselves.”

April sure has been a good month for Jumeira Bay – and where, in February, a penthouse at the Bulgari Lighthouse landed a Dh410 million sale.

The City Walk is consistently hitting the top of the charts for best performing locations in Dubai. The psf there now works out to a handsome Dh2,300.

Palm’s ‘affordable’

According to DXBInteract.com data, Palm per square foot is averaging Dh2,600 these days, while the selling price tends to be around Dh3.7 million. The per square foot rate is up 16 per cent from a year ago.

The other location that’s doing consistently well from a psf basis is the City Walk, where the average is pushing past Dh2,300, up 28 per cent, and the selling price is at a neat Dh3 million. In fact, City Walk is holding the top spot among Dubai’s best-performing areas based on sales volume.

“What’s clear from the first four months’ data is that there is no drop in demand for Dubai’s priciest spots,” the consultant said.

Inland ‘island’

Another upscale location in Dubai recording sizeable big-ticket deals is Tilal Al Ghaf from Majid Al Futtaim. Closer to the Eid holidays, there were purchases of ready plots, of 7,220 square feet and going up to 15,581 square feet, with price tags of Dh11.3 million to Dh31 million plus, based on DXBInteract numbers.

In the recent past, Dubai Hills was one location that benefitted immensely from plot sales, something that was visible early into the property market bounce back starting late 2020. Then came Jumeira Bay and now Tilal Al Ghaf has tapped into a rich vein of buyers wanting to build their own homes.

Stock - Lanai Island, Tilal Al Ghaf
Majid Al Futtaim has been quick to sight possibilities for plot sales and allowing buyers to build their own villas or mansions, as the mood strikes them. The Tilal Al Ghaf development has been seeing quite a few of that.

Buy offplan, await delivery

This sort of plugs into another trend that’s becoming obvious – more of today’s buyers are willing to wait for their homes to be delivered, and which is fuelling a massive spike in offplan sales. And offplan transactions that have hit multi-year highs during the first three months (offplan apartment sales up 95 per cent, as a case in point). April looks to be offering more of the same.

What’s even more remarkable is that the offplan wave is extending to villas too. Buyers are shifting their attention to new projects offering villas and with the promise of delivery in another 3-4 years. In the first quarter, 72 per cent of villa sales came from offplan.

Two factors could be influencing buyer preferences – one, there aren’t that many ready villas getting listed. And of those that are being listed, the asking price carries significant mark ups.

“Many buyers – mostly end-users - seem to be thinking they can wait and invest in offplan villa options,” said an estate agent. “Most developers are willing to take only around 20-30 per cent during the construction, and which provides buyers time to meet their commitments.”

Sobha puts up the ‘Reserve’

Sobha Realty this week launched its ‘Reserve’ community in Dubailand. Taking a leaf from Tilal Al Ghaf, the Reserve will be an all-villa development, with just over 300 of them. Even here, the options are decidedly super-luxury, with only four- and five-bedroom homes and priced from Dh7.68 million.

Sobha Reserve
For its new launch, the Reserve, Sobha goes all in for premium homes mixed with ample green cover. The uber-luxury community concept has been a consistent hit with buyers.

It follows recent launches from MAG of the ‘Keturah Reserve’ in Meydan, aimed at buyers who are willing pay extra for a premium setting and the privacy that comes with it.

“Developers who can offer community-styled projects with a limited edition of villas and extensive green/forested land have been drawing interest,” said the agent. “Buyer profiles of those picking up high-end property in Dubai are changing. Developers are paying a lot of attention to offering touches that would win over European buyers.

“The designs of these new villas are different, so are the surroundings. Green areas are essential. Communities with golf course used to be big – now, buyers think nothing about driving down to a course outside of the community.”