New villa communities in Dubailand are getting good demand Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

It’s all about value for money for Dubai tenants this summer. With residents now finding more competitive pricing structures in the residential rental market, the hunt is on for the best possible deals.

Rosita Fernando, managing partner at Fairfield Real Estate, tells Property Weekly, “Tenants are getting out of expensive apartments and moving into town houses and villas. They are moving to areas like Jumeirah Village Circle [JVC] and Dubailand, where they can now get a three-bedroom town house for around Dh110,000 and a four-bedroom for around Dh130,000.”

In comparison, the average cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment in Jumeirah Lakes Towers is Dh119,000. In Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai, the average rents are Dh140,000 and Dh162,000 respectively based on figures from the Dubai Land Department.

About 3,700 residential units have already been handed over in the second quarter, mostly in JVC, Damac Hills, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Al Nahda, the report said, whereas new supply will mainly be in Al Furjan, Business Bay, JVC and Town Square for the remainder of the year.

What’s renting

“A lot of new property has come to the market. In JVC, we were renting out a one-bedroom townhouse for Dh110,000 last year. Today people are asking to rent it for Dh85,000,” says Fernando. “In Remraam, a studio which cost Dh45,000 to rent last year is now on the market for Dh35,000. Tenants are looking for the cheapest possible property and in good locations.”

For Ian Morris, a British expat living in Aldar’s Al Ghadeer community between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, moving from a studio apartment to a two-bedroom town house with a maid’s room made perfect sense. “I now have a garden, which is ideal for my dog, and I’m using the second bedroom as a creative studio space.”

While his previous studio apartment cost Dh36,000 to rent and the town house costs Dh92,000 over two cheques, Morris believes he is getting much more value for money.

Anjna Nijhawan, senior property consultant at Arabian Escapes, tells Property Weekly that many residents are either looking for bigger homes or trying to cut their costs. “Some are moving from apartments to villas; others are moving from three-bedders to four-bedroom houses,” says Nijhawan. “If they’re not upgrading, they’re looking for the same size but with lower rent.”

Some tenants are also trying to squeeze more benefits into their rental agreements. “Now tenants are negotiating harder with landlords to include more in their rents, such as maintenance fees. They want value for money more than ever before,” says Nijhawan, who relocated this summer from a four-bedroom villa in the older community of Jebel Ali Village to a brand-new three-bedroom villa in Al Furjan, reducing her annual rent from Dh150,000 to Dh120,000.

Newer build

Experts agree communities like Jumeirah Park, JVC and Al Furjan, as well as Town Square and Mira, are generally seeing more demand compared with older developments. JVC has especially become popular, being one of the few areas that offer one-bedroom town houses, but also for its affordable apartment rents.

“The biggest demand when it comes to apartments is in JVC because a lot of options are there. For example, you can easily rent a two-bedroom apartment for Dh70,000-Dh75,000,” says Ghulam Rasool, sales development manager at Al Burooj Real Estate.

The trend is actually benefitting both residents and landlords, says Sabrina Khamisani, sales and leasing manager at Taktikal Realty Group. “The landlords are also happy because these properties were vacant for some time,” she says.