The value of property transactions conducted in Dubai in the first nine months of the year was down more than 20 per cent on the same period in 2017, according to figures from Dubai Land Department (DLD).
DLD said Dhs162bn ($441.1bn) of transactions were recorded until the end of September from Dhs204bn ($55.5bn) previously.
The volume of transactions also fell 23.71 per cent from 52,170 last year to 39,802 during the fist nine months of this year.
Despite the figures, DLD director general Sultan Butti bin Mejren said there was positive momentum in the market linked to recent changes to visa policy, including the introduction of a retirement visa.
“As we approach the end of 2018, we expect the market to reveal additional investment advantages, especially in the presence of competition among investors, and the incentives announced by the Dubai Government to attract capital,” he said.
“This, along with the completion of some infrastructure projects that were announced in the past few years in support Dubai’s preparations for Expo 2020, helps Dubai’s real estate horizon to broaden, increasing demand for residential units, commercial spaces, and lands.”
DLD said the nine-month total included 25,473 sales transactions worth more than Dhs56.6bn, 11,000 mortgage transactions worth more than Dhs86bn and 3,486 other transactions worth Dhs19.3bn.
Emiratis accounted for 4,112 investments worth Dhs9.4bn, Indians 4,676 investments worth Dhs8.6bn, Saudis 1,882 investments worth Dhs3bn, Pakistanis 1,851 investments worth Dhs2.3bn and UK nationals 1,761 investments worth Dhs3.4bn.
The year-on-year reduction follows a 15.9 per cent decline in the value of transactions in the first half compared to the same period in 2017 and reflects a wider slump in the emirate’s real estate market over the last two years.
Property management firm Asteco said in a Q3 report released last month that sales prices in Dubai were down 5 per cent as a result of new supply and limited “if not negative” business and employment growth.
Villa and apartment rents were down 3 per cent and 2 per cent respectively during the quarter, according to the firm.
“Rental rates across all asset classes are expected to come under further pressure this year, and this trend is likely to spill over into early 2019,” said Asteco managing director John Stevens.
Credit ratings agency S&P said in a February report that it expected Dubai’s real estate slump to continue for another two years.