Abu Dhabi: As the September deadline draws closer for Abu Dhabi visa holders to relocate to the capital, there is a mad rush for apartments in the city, experts say.
“Demand is currently outstripping supply in all price brackets and we desperately need new developments of all types in Abu Dhabi,” said Andrew Covill, Head of Investment Sales, LLJ Property.
According to Asteco Property Management nearly 5,000 apartments are expected and 3,900 villas are likely to be delivered in the next six to 12 months. However, realty experts reckon this is insufficient to meet the growing demand from within the capital and other emirates.
“Everyday, we are receiving numerous enquiries for both leasing and sales. It’s hard to determine the number, but clearly it is on the rise. Moreover, with the September deadline drawing closer people are frantically looking for a good quality unit in Abu Dhabi,” said Covill.
He said demand is particularly high for newer housing units in Al Raha Beach, Reem Island and Al Reef areas. “Many Etihad Airways staff are looking to take up homes in these areas due to their proximity to the airport. Saadiyat Island is another destination as it is the only luxury golf villa development in the city.
“Primarily, affordable housing is a pre-requisite as there is a definite demand in this respect. There are very limited areas in Abu Dhabi where people can buy property. With the growing demand from within Abu Dhabi and those moving in from other emirates, housing supply needs some catching up,” he added.
Plans are rife in areas like Al Reef, Al Raha, Reem Island and Saadiyat for new units to be handed over in the coming year. “Handover of these new units is eagerly awaited as they will help in lowering rental prices in the city and add a considerable quantity of affordable housing,” said Andrea Menown, Leasing Manager, LLJ Property.
“Rental demands are currently highest for one-bedroom, three-bedroom and four-bedroom units with a strong demand for projects in the city outskirts,” she added.
According to a recent Asteco report, the capital was gearing for a number of affordable homes to be delivered by year-end.
“The second half of the year will see existing residential supply increase with the handover of 3,500 units at The Gate District, Shams Abu Dhabi. In 12 months, 5,000 new units are likely to hit the market. Other standalone tower projects like Beach Towers, Oceanscape and Mangrove Place will add to the first wave of affordably priced homes in Hydra Village.”
SNAPSHOT OF ABU DHABI FREEHOLD AREAS
Al Reef Villas, Al Reef area
Sale price: 4-bedroom Al Reef villa – Dh2.1 million
Rental: 4 bedroom Al Reef villa - Dh140,000 per annum
Community size/occupancy levels. Al Reef development comprises 2,000 villas and 1,500 apartments. All villas handed over and 90 per cent occupied. Handover of apartments and retail units (15 per cent are occupied) likely to be completed in 12 months.
Sun and Sky tower, Shams Abu Dhabi
Sale price: 3 bedroom apartment - Dh2.5 million
Rental: 3 bedroom apartment – Dh150,000 per annum
Community size/occupancy level: The tower was completed in 2010-2011 with nearly 1,100 apartments, of which nearly 95 per cent are occupied.
Marina Square, Reem Island
Selling price: 3 bedroom apartment - Dh2.5 million
Rental: 3 bedroom apartment - Dh170,000 per annum
Community size/occupancy level: There are 14 towers in Marina Square with 4,000 apartments, most of which are completed (80 per cent currently occupied). The last two towers are in the process of being handed over.
Al Bandar, Al Raha Beach area
Sale price: 3 bedroom apartment - Dh3.6 million
Rental: 3 bedroom apartment - Dh270,000 per annum
Community size/occupancy level – Completed in October 2010, Al Bandar comprises 511 apartments and is 100 per cent occupied.
Al Muneera, Al Raha Beach area
Sale price: 4 bedroom waterfront townhouse – Dh5 million
Rental: 4 bedroom waterfront townhouse - Dh350,000 per annum.
Community size/occupancy: Completed in 2011, Al Muneera comprises nearly 1,500 apartments and town houses, of which around 75 per cent are occupied.
Al Zeina, Al Raha beach area
Sale price: 3 bedroom townhouse - Dh3.5 million
Rental: Dh270,000 per annum
Community size/occupancy: Completed in 2011, Al Zeina comprises nearly 1,200 apartments and town houses, of which 70 per cent are occupied.
Saadiyat beach villas, Saadiyat Island
Sale price: 4 bedroom villa - Dh5.2 million
Rental: Dh360,000 per annum
Community size/occupancy: Around 360 villas and townhouses make up the community. The final lot of villas will be handed over in the next three to six months. Currently, around 40 per cent of the community is occupied.
Al Raha Gardens, Al Raha beach area
Sale price: 3 bedroom townhouse - Dh1.8 million
Rental: 3 bedroom townhouse - Dh260,000 per annum.
Community size/occupancy: Completed in 2007-2009, Al Raha Gardens is made up of around 1,400 villas and apartments, of which 95 per cent are occupied.
Golf Gardens, Al Raha beach area
Sale price: 4-bedroom villa — Dh4 million.
Rental: 4-bedroom villa — Dh300,000 per annum
Completed in 2010, the Golf Gardens villas are currently, 95 per cent occupied.
Top five selling units based on demand
Al Bandar in Al Raha Beach – Two-bedroom apartment for Dh2 million
Al Muneera in Al Raha Beach – Two-bedroom apartment for Dh1.7million.
Tala Tower in Al Reem Island – Two-bedroom apartment for Dh1.7 million.
Al Reef villa – Four-bedroom villa for Dh2.1 million
Saadiyat Beach Villa – Four-bedroom villa for Dh7.2 million
Top five leasing units based on demand
Al Raha Beach - Two-bedroom apartment at Dh135,000 per annum
Al Reem Island - Two- bedroom apartments at Dh125,000 per annum
Al Reef villas - Two-bedroom villa at Dh115,000 per annum
Al Reef apartments - Two-bedroom apartment at Dh85,000 per annum
Saadiyat villas - Four-bedroom villa at Dh310,000 per annum
source: LLJ Property