A total of 2,461 residential units were completed in Abu Dhabi during the first quarter of 2013, down 6.2 per cent compared to Q1 2012, according to official data from the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD).
According to the report, 1,979 buildings were completed across the entire emirate in the first quarter, of which almost 65 per cent, 1,283 buildings were in the Abu Dhabi region, 668 buildings were in Al Ain and 28 buildings were in Al Gharbia.
While 1,842 of the total buildings were new, 137 were extensions to existing ones.
The data also indicated that 91.4 per cent or 1,809 of the buildings completed in the first quarter across the emirate were residential.
In Abu Dhabi alone, 1,203 buildings – amounting to 81 per cent, were residential towers, compared with 26 industrial ones and 16 public facilities.
Abu Dhabi has already been grappling with over-supply in the residential sector for some time now.
In its latest Q1 report, property specialist Cluttons said that residential rates in the emirate have fallen over the past 18 months due to oversupply and low demand, especially in older areas.
While rents have risen in some of the newer pockets such as Saadiyat Island and Al Raha Beach, sales prices have not grown much, with villa prices experiencing a plateau and apartment rates increasing 0.75 per cent.
But many factors indicate an upcoming improvement in the sector, said Cluttons.
“Since October 2012 there have been a number of large-scale announcements, demonstrating Abu Dhabi’s commitment to its economy and real estate sector.
“The merging of developer giants Aldar and Sorouh, twinned with the announcement that Abu Dhabi’s Executive Council plans to add Dhs330 billion into the economy and infrastructure over the next five years, have provoked a feeling of optimism in the real estate sector,” the report said.
“In September 2012, the government announced that all its employees and those of government-affiliated companies must live in Abu Dhabi, which has helped to drive residential demand,” it added.