Dubai: Bigger homes and room for green - that’s how property buyers in Dubai responded as soon as real estate activity started to pick up from August of last year. Whether it was a Dh10 million plus home or a Dh1 million apartment, space and air was what buyers wanted.
Much of it was a direct response to the weeks of COVID-19-induced shutdown at homes, and which is when for many Dubai residents, the decision was made to do something about living spaces once normal life resumed.
And Sobha Realty - and its Hartland development - was more than ready for it. The sprawling upscale community near Dubai’s racing hub Meydan was one of the first to benefit as the first signs of villas and townhouses being in high demand showed up on transactions radar.
A 8 million square feet development, with Downtown Dubai and the Burj Khalifa as immediate neighbours, the Sobha Hartland has villas and townhouses starting from the mid-Dh5 million while the apartments in the low-rise building clusters are from Dh876,000. (Sobha Realty was launched in 2012 to oversee the developer's interests in the Gulf region and beyond.)
The numbers are showing up nicely, going by Sobha Realty’s first six month 2021 numbers, when sales from its Dubai operations touched Dh2 billion. In a market that was emerging from a COVID-19 created disruption and following a new four-year buying dip, the Dh2 billion represents a significant leap. And attests to the offer mix that Sobha has going on at the Hartland.
There are still phases to be delivered, and the buying has been particularly heavy at the top end of the community’s villa category. (The Dh2 billion mark represents 80 per cent of what Sobha Realty had projected as full-year 20221 sales.)
The luxury tower has one and two bed room apartments with amenities like swimming pool, play area, fully-equipped gym, landscaped decks and 24-hour security and concierge service.
“The performance of the company further strengthens the bullish demand and immense growth potential in the UAE’s real estate sector, amidst the run-up to Expo 2020 later this year,” said Jyotsna Hegde, President of Sobha Realty, in a statement.
“Overall, we are witnessing stronger demand in the past few months. The Dubai Land Department has also reported an impressive surge in transactions, which reflects the pent-up demand for property in the emirate.”
Plots and off plan
While its inventory gets picked up on one side, on the new launch side, Sobha has been busy as well, launching more plots under the ‘Tranquility’ cluster. These are earmarked for investors to build their dream villas and continues a strategy that Sobha had put to good use at the Hartland since it launched in 2013.
According to a senior official at a Dubai brokerage firm that has tracked the Hartland closely, “Plot sales have performed consistently well, even though the relatively quiet years of 2017-20. Along with Dubai Hills Estate in MBR City, Sobha Hartland has been the best performing spots in the city since the start of the year.
“They had the villas, the townhouses and the entry level villas, many of which were ready for occupancy. That worked well with end-users.”
A tower too
And just to make the property portfolio as diverse as possible, there is also a 35-storey residential tower to be launched at the Hartland, and with 592 units.
By the time early next year when Sobha announces its tally for 2021, it would be interesting to see how far above forecasts sales came to. Because those numbers will tell not only how far Sobha Realty has made progress from the recent past, it will also present a marker for Dubai real estate.