One of the super-prime villas in Emirates Hills, with a price tag of Dh129.95 million. The plush neighbourhood also saw one luxury property sold for Dh101 million earlier this year, Image Credit: Luxhabitat

Dubai: Amidst all the offplan launch and sales spree, an existing villa in Emirates Hills was able to find a buyer for Dh95 million, making it the costliest property purchase in Dubai during the third quarter of 2017. The villa has a built-up area of 22,780 square feet, according to the consultancy Luxhabitat.

Emirates Hills also laid claim to the second biggest deal, with a 19,982 square feet property going for Dh60 million. The buyers have not been identified.

The Palm took up the third and fourth spots, with Dh27.5 million and Dh22.5 million deals, respectively, while the fifth costliest transaction was again for Emirates Hills to claim. (Emirates Hills also landed a Dh101 million deal earlier this year, while a penthouse at Omniyat's One Palm was sold for Dh102 million.) Between July to end September. The Emirates Hills area alone transacted Dh107 million, according to Luxhabitat. The overall villa market recorded transaction volumes of Dh688 million, with 71 per cent of these from the Emirates Living areas, which includes Emirates Hills, Springs, the Meadows and The Lakes.

On the apartment side, the costliest deal was for Dh25 million, with which the buyer bagged a 12,469 square feet unit at Elite Residence/ In second place was a 5,016 square feet apartment at Palazzo Versace, which commanded Dh15 million. The Palazzo Versace is located in Culture Village.

Another Culture Village landmark, the D1 Tower sold a unit for Dh7.45 million, and claiming the fifth spot among the costliest apartment buys in Q3-17.

An Armani Residence unit went for Dh9.51 million and bagging the third spot, while another at Al Bateen had the previous owner richer by Dh9 million.

Overall volumes in the premium apartment space came to around Dh1.2 billion, with 50 per cent pulled in by the Dubai Marina area.

“It might be worth mentioning that two out of the three top apartment transactions were in “branded developments” - Armani and Palazzo Versace - which continues a trend of increasing demand for globally recognized luxury branded properties,” said Ryan Kasper, Director of Luxury Rentals. One of Luxhabitat’s most notable transactions during the year included a Dh60 million Bvlgari penthouse.

But even in the luxury property space, demand is starting to gradually move into the offplan space. “New locations such as CityWalk, Bluewaters Island, Bvlgari, Dubai Creek Harbour, and Dubai Hills Estate make both investors and end-users very excited about new stock and the promise of new communities,” said Alexander von-Sayn Wittgenstein, Luxury Sales Director at Luxhabitat.

“People are now expecting an upgrade in quality since a lot of the existing stock look a bit aged and the price levels are more or less the same as a new stock when upgraded. End-users need to decide if they need something immediate or not.

“Eighty per cent of the offplan luxury market are going to investors who are hoping for capital appreciation. Offplan properties also have the added advantage of flexible payment plans.”

As of Q2-17, the city-wide price per square foot for prime residences was Dh1, 441 a square foot. The prices are at similar levels since Q2-16.

The total transaction volumes in Q3-17 were Dh1.9 billion, with Dubai Marina transacting around Dh363 million, followed by Palm Jumeirah (Dh218 million) and the Downtown (Dh160 million).