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UAE rents still dropping, while rental yields and transaction activity is strong

December 2017

December 18, 2017 | 16:20 | Dubai

Propertyfinder Trends, now in its third edition, hits inboxes today. The report is 20% larger than the previous edition and covers all of the must-know data for investors, brokers, and property seekers in the UAE.

“We’ve all heard that data is the new oil. In a region working tirelessly to be less dependent on this commodity, data is even more precious,” says Michael Lahyani, CEO of Propertyfinder Group, in his opening letter of Propertyfinder Trends.

“We’ve invested heavily in our data technology in recent years, and this, combined with the UAE’s largest property audience and listings database, gives us unique insights into the UAE property market and its ongoing evolution, both at macro and micro levels.”


Coming to the end of 2017, the trend of decreasing prices across the market continues as observed since their peak in mid-2014. Propertyfinder reports a gradual and uniform decline in Dubai.

Dubai villa rents have experienced the biggest decline of all the categories in this report, but the decline is shallowing for other categories when compared to January 2016. This may be due to a significant amount of affordable villas released to the market in areas such as JVC and Al Furjan.

The Abu Dhabi rental market has seen the swiftest decrease, while the Abu Dhabi villa market was relatively stable over 2016, but has seen a step-down in 2017 so far, possibly due to a large number of handovers this year.

While Dubai and Abu Dhabi have seen declines on roughly a similar rate, there is a noticeable difference in the speed of decline for apartments to rent in Abu Dhabi vs Dubai. Abu Dhabi has declined much faster.

There is a silver lining.

“Falling prices, as we’ve seen, makes buying more feasible for a larger percentage of the population,” says Lahyani.  “We’re seeing the “forever renters” moving into the buyer category, preferring to pay off their own mortgage rather than someone else’s.”

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