High-end apartments in Abu Dhabi are the priciest in Middle East

Globally, capital holds 23rd position, while Dubai is ranked 35th in ECA accommodation report

Abu Dhabi was the most expensive city in the Middle East to rent a high-end three-bedroom apartment last year, according to a new report.

ECA International, a London-based knowledge and solutions provider for international HR professionals, revealed in its latest accommodation report that though rents in Abu Dhabi continued to fall, with supply of rental properties significantly outstripping demand, the city remained the most expensive in the Middle East for three-bedroom properties.

Globally, the capital was ranked 23rd, with average rent per month at Dh14,411. Dubai took the 35th position with average rent per month being Dh12,754.

The consultancy stated that unlike Abu Dhabi, rents in Dubai had increased in 2012 as the market there showed signs of recovery following decline in the previous three years.

Asteco Property Management, a property consultancy, on Sunday, said that average rents in Abu Dhabi declined by 12 per cent in 2012 and a further decline is expected this year as 17,000 new units enter the market.

Jones Lang LaSalle, a global real estate consultancy, has said average rents of prime residential units remained unchanged in the fourth quarter 2012 with the average prime rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the capital falling in excess of 48 per cent since the market peaked in 2008.

Approximately 12,000 residential units entered the Abu Dhabi market in 2012  with 16,000 new units expected to enter the market this year, it added.

In Dubai, prime residential rents have increased on average by 15 to 17 per cent across the market. Nearly 18,000 units will be completed in Dubai this year.

According to ECA International, Hong Kong remained the most expensive location in the world to rent a high-end three-bedroom apartment. Rents for an unfurnished three-bedroom apartment in a sought-after area of the city averaged $11,550 (Dh42,388) per month .

Hong Kong was followed by Caracas in Venezuela, where a dearth of suitable properties and high demand driven by a booming petroleum industry led to significant increase in rents. New York, Moscow and Tokyo completed the list of the top five most expensive locations in the world to rent a three-bedroom apartments.

Globally, average rental prices for a three-bedroom apartments fell to $3,030 (Dh11,120) per month in 2012 from $3,080 per month in 2011.

ECA International says it produces accommodation reports for more than 130 locations to help companies in deciding what accommodation policy to adopt and what level of housing allowance to provide to international employees. Published annually, these reports provide information on the types of accommodation and geographical areas usually favoured by international assignees.

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