Dh15,000 salary in Dubai: Here are your varied rent options

Office rents declined between 10-20% this year (REUTERS)

Dubai residents earning Dh15,000 a month have very limited options for renting larger apartments in freehold communities, according to a new report.

In its latest report, titled, ‘The mystery and variety of mid-income housing’, Unitas Consultancy and Reidin.com said on the basis of the median salary in the emirate, derived on a rent-to-income ratio across the US and the UK of between 30 and 47 per cent, the rental budget for an individual in the emirate will be between Dh54,000 and Dh90,000 per annum.

A cross segment rent analysis between freehold and leasehold areas reveals residents who plan to spend only 30 per cent of their salary in rent have a varied options in leasehold areas compared with freehold areas. Karama, Garhoud, Oud Metha, Al Twar, Abu Hail, Al Awir, Al Mamzar, Al Ras are the options in leasehold areas, while Discovery Gardens, Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), International Media Production Zone (IMPZ) and International City are the options in freehold areas.

When it comes to one-bed units, options in leasehold areas fall in Abu Hail, Al Ras, Al Awir and Al Twar, while in freehold options it’s only in IMPZ and International City. As for two beds, the only option for the category is in Al Awir (leasehold area).

Residents planning to spend 40 per cent of their monthly income on rent have options for studio in freehold areas such as Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) and Greens. For one-beds, leasehold options fall in Karama, Al Mamzar and Garhoud, while DSO and Discovery Gardens are the likely freehold areas. For two-beds, options are in Al Twar, Abu Hail and Al Ras (leasehold), while International City is the only option in freehold category.

Those planning to spend 50 per cent of their income on rent can lease a studio unit in Dubai Marina and Downtown, while one-bed are available in Greens and JLT, while Oud Metha falls in the leasehold category. For two beds, residents have options in Oud Metha, Karama, Garhoud and Al Mamzar, while in freehold area options are in IMPZ, Discovery Gardens and DSO.

“There is a clear distinction that the affordable options exist within the leasehold areas. The shortage of options between both segments only widens as residents look for larger size units,” the report said.

As renters continue to struggle with high-rent across communities, the report said utilities contribute 11 per cent of their housing fees (Dewa + net rent), which further decreases the actual budget, limiting options further.

In September 2015, JLL, a global real estate consultant, said only 22 per cent of 19,500 residential units launched in 2015 to date in Dubai fall in its affordable to middle-income housing criteria. Though the definition of ‘affordable’ varies across the region in terms of ‘price point’, the consultancy puts an ‘affordable’ sales price in the UAE at around Dh790,000 and affordable annual rent at around  Dh72,000.

Last week, Land Sterling, a UAE-based property consultancy, said apartment rents rose two per cent in the third quarter 2015 compared with second quarter 2015 with few areas witnessing rental softening in certain unit categories.

“Residential rental performance in 2015 has been exceptional amidst the prevailing negative market sentiment. Despite several project deliveries in 2015 till date, new supply has been absorbed by the steady influx of residents in the emirate, as non-oil sector economic activity maintained its momentum post second half 2015,” the consultancy had said.

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