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In Dubai Marina average asking prices have softened Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/GN Archive

Waking up to the sounds of the waves and enjoying uninterrupted views of the ocean is a privilege for many. Whether it’s the stunning Dubai Marina views or the island life on Palm Jumeirah or living in a family friendly beach community, such as the Jumeirah Beach Residence, there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a waterfront property. You can take your pick from villas, townhouses, lofts, apartments and penthouses that fits all budgets, tastes and lifestyle needs.

Jason Hayes, Founder and CEO, luxuryproperty.com says, “You may choose from large bespoke signature villas to garden homes to penthouses." Just as luxury never goes out of fashion, "these well established, areas in Dubai have always been sought after because they enjoy the advantage of a great location. That that’s probably the first lesson of real estate investment. Anyone investing in these locations will achieve gross yields over 6.5 per cent,” he says.

Although there is still some ongoing construction in some of these areas, once complete, they will offer world-class amenities, including incredible restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, recreational areas.

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The idyllic Palm Jumeirah has destinations such as Club Vista Mare, The Pointe, Boardwalk and Nakheel Mall

Price advantage

There has been a softening of both rental and purchase prices across these three communities, namely, The Palm, Dubai Marina, and JBR, over the past year. Hayes says, “In the short-term, we are seeing both asking prices and more importantly, transaction prices, lower than they were in August 2019.”

“In Dubai Marina, the average asking price has softened by roughly 10.1 per cent from the first eight months in 2019 to the same period in 2020. Average transaction price has softened by 1.9 per cent during the same period,” says Hays.

According to him, “JBR saw average asking price softening by 0.8 per cent from the first eight months in 2019 to the comparable period in 2020. Average transaction price has risen by about 0.7 per cent during the same period. And Palm Jumeirah average asking price has softened by 12.2 per cent from the first eight months in 2019 to the comparable period in 2020. Average transaction price has softened by about 20.8 per cent during the same period.”

Hayes considers this softening of prices is as a direct consequence of the worldwide pandemic, the associated lockdown and subsequent economic slowdown. However, he believes although this has had a profound effect on the property market in Dubai in the short term, it won’t remain in the medium to long-term. He says the reason for capital value erosion has been the supply and demand matrix, which has seen more properties come to market than there is a requirement for at this time.

“The fundamentals of Dubai remain strong. Reduced property prices will be a short-term phenomenon, and we expect to see shoots of recovery by the first quarter of next year,” says Hayes.

Lifestyle facilities

Dubai’s waterfront living promises a cool and sophisticated lifestyle that many expats crave to enjoy. While JBR gives you The Beach and The Walk, Dubai Marina offers wonderful cycling tracks and a Marina Walk with a great selection of restaurants and cafes, as well as a brand new yacht club. The idyllic Palm Jumeirah has destinations such as Club Vista Mare, The Pointe, the Boardwalk and Nakheel Mall.

“You have what can only be described as a beachfront luxury – private cabanas, sunbeds, bouncy castles for the children, camel rides, skydiving and other leisure options for the family,” says Hayes.

The Marina Tram and the Palm Monorail also help residents to move around in these areas without a car. “It’s possible to enjoy a pedestrian urban aesthetic here,” he observes.

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A look at rentals and sales in these neighbourhoods

Investment opportunities

Mario Volpi, Sales and Leasing Manager at Engel and Völkers says, “The Marina and JBR have more than 250 apartment towers offering accommodation from studios up to five-bedroom units. The Palm has a mixture of apartments, mainly on the trunk and crescent, with villas and townhouses located centrally on the trunk and the fronds,” he says.

“Both rental and sale prices fell during the year mainly due to the pandemic. Rental rates declined approximately 10 to 15 per cent year-on-year and sales approximately 10 per cent. The benefits of investing in these three communities are wide and varied. The return on investment ranges from 5-6 per cent to 8-9 per cent. All three areas have a demand so the investor has no problems renting out their unit if they price it correctly,” adds Volpi.