Thanks to its location, quality and, now, affordability, demand for villas in Emirates Living has still remained high as rents fell only a modest four per cent in the first quarter compared to the last quarter of 2010, according to realty experts.
“There has been an increase in demand for villas in Dubai generally, across all quality spectrums. This is down to the lower rents making them more attractive to those who previously lived in apartments, but want the extra space and privacy a villa provides. As Emirates Living is one of Dubai’s premier villa communities, well established and in a prime location, it has obviously remained favored amongst tenants,” Oliver Hogg, Senior Analyst for Landmark Advisory told Emirates 24/7.
The real estate consultancy says rents in the villa community fell on an average by three per cent during the first quarter of 2011.
Jonathan Fothergill, Director of Valuations, Cluttons UAE says there has been an increase in demand for villas in Emirates Living because it is still one of the best established areas not only for location, but for the facilities offered to residents.
“Another major factor being that prices are substantially lower, putting it within most peoples reach.”
A recent research report by Cluttons reveals that residential villa units have seen a slowdown in value reduction when compared to the fourth quarter 2010, especially in the higher end of the market. Villa developments such as Arabian Ranches, Meadows and Palm Jumeirah have seen “little to no” movement over the last three months, which bodes well for the recovery. Other villa locations, such as Victory Heights and Motor City have seen moderate drops of 3.6 per cent down from the fourth quarter 2010.
Nicholas Winter, Residential Leasing Consultant, JBR Office, Better Homes, too agrees, saying, “There has been an increase in interest in villa living and lack of supply particularly in the Springs, Meadows and Lakes, has driven demand.”
Despite the fact that there will be some hundreds of villas being released into the market as projects such as Falcon City and The Villa project get completed, Pooja Banwani, The Emirates Living Area Specialist at Harbor Real Estate believes the insignificant number and distant location has diluted their pressure on established projects such as Emirates Living, Arabian Ranches and The Palm.
She anticipates average villa rents will continue to stabilize during the year, as demand for villas will continue to remain high.
“Having said that, we expect some of the villas within the older projects namely Springs and Meadows that are not well maintained to go under a lot pressure from the new projects that offer better value for money and quality. The effect that Jumeirah Village villas had on the Springs was obvious and the handover of The Agadir at the Lakes put pressure on the prices at the Meadows. When Jumeirah Park villas are handed over, we expect the prices of the Meadows to witness a further decline.”
Harbor data reveals that a two-bedroom villa in Springs was being leased for Dh78,000 in the first quarter compared to Dh80,000 in the fourth quarter 2010, while rents for three bedroom during the same period remained stable at Dh105,000. In the Meadows, a three -, four - and five-bed villa was available for Dh180,000, Dh205,000 and Dh235,000, respectively, in the first quarter compared to Dh185,000, Dh215000 and 250,000 in the fourth quarter of 2010. In Lakes, a three, and four-bed villa was being rented for Dh168,000 and Dh220,000, respectively, compared to Dh170,000 and Dh225,000.
According to IREISCO’s Communications Director, Vanessa Fernandez, Emirates Living has properties appealing to all clients from Dh75,000 in the Springs to Dh600,000 (and even Dh1 million) in Emirates Hills.
“With a host of amenities and services, and affordable environment is attracting many new tenants. Emirates living is a recommendation for tenants due to its central location, proximity to the Marina and Jebel Ali, and value for money.”
IREISCO, which offers a free property listings for the world’s hottest international property, believes the market still has potential for some cash rich investors, who can expect between 4.5 per cent and six per cent gross rental yields in Dubai, which is moderate.
“The rental prices are not too low, a recovery from these levels is still feasible and this may stimulate further movement in the market, although it is unlikely to make much difference for at least two years.”
The company’s data indicates that almost 90 to 95 per cent of properties in Emirates Living that are on the market are rented. Landmark currently has 33 villas for leasing. Harbour estimates there are around 128 villas in Springs, 60 villas in Meadows, 32 villas in Lakes and 31 villas in Emirates Hills listed currently for rent.
IREISCO.com says there are between 50 and 100 villas listed for rent with the larger agencies, and 10 to 50 with the small to medium size agencies. Better Homes has 12 villas currently available for leasing, while 14 have been reserved with and or without deposits.
Master community overview
Emirates Living comprises The Springs, The Meadows, The Lakes, Hattan, Ghadeer, Montgomery and Emirates Hills. The Emirates Living district also comprises The Views and The Greens.
The Greens are mid-rise apartment blocks comprising nine projects in all – Al Sidr, Al Jaz, Al Nakheel, Al Ghaf, Al Samar, Al Dhafrah, Al Arta, Al Thayyal and Al Ghozlan.
The Views are apartment buildings comprising eight projects in all – Arno, Travo, Turia, Una, The Fairways, The Links, Golf Towers and Mosela.
The Springs comprises townhouses built around man-made lakes. The properties in The Springs range from two-bedroom to four-bedroom townhouses and are located close to The Greens, The Lakes and The Meadows.
The Meadows are detached villas offering double-storeyed villas from three to seven rooms, each surrounded by a garden and garage.
The Lakes are detached villas and townhouses comprising Deema, Furat, Maeen, Zulal and The Ghadeer, which was the last to be handed over recently. The Lakes has been built around a lake, located near the Emirates Golf Club and The Greens development.
Emirates Hills are luxury-detached villas that have been sold as plots to investor to build their properties on.
The community also includes schools such as the Dubai International Academy, Emirates International School, Dubai British School, Regents School, a community centre, restaurants and supermarkets, children’s playgrounds, and communal swimming pools.
Emirates Living residents also have access to the Emirates Hills’ Montgomerie Golf Course and its Golf Academy, which includes a clubhouse and other facilities.