Apartment rents in Abu Dhabi fell by six percent in the third quarter of 2011 although the rate of decline slowed compared to previous quarters, Asteco said on Wednesday.
Rental values had fallen by eight and nine percent in the previous two quarters indicating a degree of stabilisation in Q3, according to Asteco's quarterly real estate monitor.
Villa rental rates for Q3 were relatively static for the second consecutive quarter although villas in off-island locations such as Mohamed Bin Zayed City and Khalifa City continued to slide by five percent on average.
"The strong rental demand we are witnessing is being driven by existing residents' desire to upgrade and secure better value for money accommodation. This trend is set to continue as future improved quality accommodation is handed over in the coming months," said Elaine Jones, CEO, Asteco Property Management.
In terms of sales, the market was still characterised by low sales volumes but the level of sales enquiries increased amid the delivery of completed projects.
To try and stimulate sales activity in the market, Aldar has announced a rent-to-own scheme on unsold properties at Al Zeina and Al Bandar.
"Rent-to-own schemes are an effective way of stimulating demand. Similar initiatives have been successful in the past, such as the Green Community in Dubai," added Jones.
The most significant new supply brought to market was the Al Zeina project at Raha Beach, which comprises 952 apartments, 26 penthouses, 119 townhouses and 124 villas.
Meanwhile, at Marina Square on Reem Island, despite receiving completion certificates for Zone A in March, uncertainty surrounds the handover dates to individual investors in Zones B, C and D.