Affordability is driving trends for potential tenants in Dubai's housing market. a new report published by UAE property portal propertyfinder.ae said on Wednesday.
Its third quarter real estate report for Dubai and Abu Dhabi, based on 1 million visits to the site between July and September, showed that searches for renting an apartment in Dubai dropped 15 percent.
It added that searches for renting a villa increased 17 percent compared to the same period in 2010.
At the same time, properties priced under AED100,000 witnessed a 30 percent spike in search interest, indicating that despite the swing towards villas, demand remains strong for affordable apartment rentals in Dubai.
Renan Bourdeau, managing director at propertyfinder.ae, said the sharp increase in searches for lower priced apartments could be explained by the continued increase in supply of apartments, which brings prices down.
"Dubai apartment renters whose leases are up for renewal have decided that it may be more worthwhile to pay the same price but enjoy a larger room. And those previously sharing an apartment with a roommate now have the option of upgrading to living alone at no extra cost," said Bourdeau.
Michael Burke, owner of Arabian Escapes Real Estate Company in Dubai, added that searches for villas may be on the increase because a large supply of villas under AED150,000 have become available in Arabian Ranches and The Springs.
propertyfinder's Q3 report showed that Arabian Ranches has now become the 3rd most popular location to search for with a 1.5 percent increase over Q2.
Dubai Marina is currently the most popular location search, it added.
Dubai villa and apartment prices may soon bottom out as political turmoil elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa prompts buyers to look for less-risky investments, Jones Lang LaSalle said on Monday.
Apartment prices in most parts of the Gulf sheikdom are stabilizing or declining slightly, “indicating that the market might be very near its bottom,” the US property broker said in a research report.
Villa sales increased 59 percent by value even as volume fell by nearly a third, indicating that higher-priced properties are attracting the most buyers.
The renewed interest hasn’t resulted in rents or property prices increasing across the board, although some localized markets are now approaching stability, the report said.