Lush feel: An Emirates Hills villa surrounded by palm trees and multicoloured bougainvillea. For illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/ANM

Dubai:  The mega-sized property deals are coming through — an Emirates Hills villa sold for a whopping Dh90 million ($24.5 million) and was closely followed by another on the Palm, which commanded Dh84.2 million ($22.9 million).

These were the two most expensive non-off-plan transactions in Dubai during the second quarter, according to the estate agency Luxhabitat.

In fact, Emirates Hills’ properties accounted for four of the top five spots. And villas seem to be back in favour with investors after a fairly long hiatus.

There was a 7 per cent increase in villa transactions over the first quarter to total Dh1.3 billion.

And 50 per cent of these were in Emirates Living clusters, which includes Emirates Hills, Springs, Meadows and The Lakes. (Emirates Hills properties accounted for Dh270 million.)

Across the board, the second quarter generated Dh3.6 billion worth of deals for prime/high-end property, with 62 per cent of these involving apartments.

The Palm Jumeirah was the top choice for investors choosing upscale options, and recorded Dh771 million by way of sales, states Luxhabitat. It was followed by Dubai Marina with Dh667 million and the Downtown with Dh340 million.

Relative bargain

It could be that investors are still seeing a relative bargain by acquiring a high-end property now. At many of the established locations, prime property values are still some way off from their mid-2014 peaks.

“We are seeing a flattening of price evolution - as of Q2, the price per square foot for prime residences is Dh1,482,” states the Luxhabitat report. “The prices are at similar levels as of Q4-2015.”

According to Jason Hayes, Managing Director of Luxhabitat, “Q2 results clearly reflect the ongoing positivity and confidence in the market.”

On the apartment side, one of the more expensive deals in the secondary market was for a penthouse at the La Reve tower in Dubai Marina, which got Dh29.7 million.

Another unit in the Five Hotels & Resorts (on the Palm) went for Dh15.5 million and third place went to a deal at the Palazzo Versace, for Dh15 million.

Investor interest

Right through the first six months, investors have shown an abiding interest for high-end properties, both off-plan and ready.

The coming quarters could see developers push the credentials of those homes in MBR (Mohammad Bin Rashid) City and Dubai Creek Harbour.

The Water Canal-side options are also opening up for buyers, including the tower designated as freehold within Al Habtoor City. There are also select clusters within Dubailand, notably the Akoya from Damac.