Nshama executives with a scale model of the Town Square project. In all, 300 ‘Zahra’ town houses are being released over the weekend and another 700 in the coming week or two. Image Credit: Courtesy: Nshama

Dubai: Nshama Development is looking to fire up dormant buying activity in Dubai’s residential marketplace by offering a “limited” number of three-bedroom units at its newly launched Town Square community at prices just below Dh1 million. In all, 300 ‘Zahra’ town houses are being released by the newly formed developer over the weekend and another 700 units in the coming week or two.

Senior officials declined to talk about the upper price range, but market sources suggest these could be between Dh1 million to Dh1.5 million. Town Square — located further down the road from Arabian Ranches — will cover 750 acres and feature 3,500 town houses and 18,000 apartments. The whole project will have a build phase of 10 years, with around 3,000 homes being delivered each year.

The three-bedroom units range from 200 square metres to 208 while the four-beds are 225 square metres.

“Zahra has been launched after careful market evaluation — we have identified a strong need from a large segment of the population, who aspire to be homeowners,” said Fred Durie, CEO.

The overall development cost for the Town Square — which will feature extensive green spaces and 350 retail outlets — was not revealed. “The funding requirements are being put in place including what the lending component will be,” said Raghuraj Balkrishna, Chief Financial Officer at Nshama. “We will be exploring the possibility of adding to the land bank — all of the 750 acres we have now is for Town Square alone.”

According to Niraj Masand, Partner at the property services firm Banke M. E., “A set of town houses under Dh1 million is a marketing hook that should find a ready response from the market … even in one where overall transactional activity had come down. Town Square’s launch also crates additional options for buyers in that corridor beyond Arabian Ranches and which also includes Mira from Emaar. Sales values would be around Dh700-Dh750 a square foot.”

Dubai is currently witnessing a steady expansion of mid-tier properties, with launches alongside the Mohammad Bin Zayed Road as well as individual clusters within Dubailand. A comfortable pricing for end-users would be in the region of Dh700 per square foot and thereabouts.

Nshama has confirmed tie-ups with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, First Gulf Bank and Noor Bank for the mortgage component.

Market sources add that a property set near established residential clusters such as the Ranches could have instant traction with buyers. At prices within the Dh1 million to Dh1.5 million, it could also prompt prospective buyers to take a dip into their savings and fund it through full equity or a substantial portion of it.