Apartment prices shoot up by over 40% in International City

The real estate market sentiment has improved over last year

Asking prices for apartments in International City, which had dropped below their 2002 launch price, have shot up by over 40 per cent in the past one year.

The current asking prices for studios range between Dh250,000 and Dh270,000 in October 2012 from Dh150,000 to Dh170,000 during the same period last year, data analyzed by Emirates 24|7 has revealed.

While studios were sold for Dh220,000 and one-beds for Dh320,000 during the launch, property owners last year offered discounts of 10 to 15 per cent to lure buyers.

Studios and one-beds in the Spain and England cluster now command the highest asking rate of Dh265,000 and Dh270,000, and Dh365,000 and Dh370,000, respectively.However, a few units at still selling at lower prices. In the Persia cluster, studios are available for Dh245,000, while one beds can be bought for Dh340,000 in the France cluster. Property agents say these units require renovation and hence the prices are low. Moreover, they claim that more companies than individuals are buying apartments in International City for staff accommodation.

The Dubai Land Department data reveals that more than 1,730 transactions,valued at Dh523 million, have been registered in International City (Al Warsan First) this year to date. Over 7,000 units valued at over Dh2.5 billion were registered in 2009, which fell to approx. 1,500 transactions, worth Dh500 million, in 2011.

International City project was launched in July 2002 and consists of a residential district and a central district. The residential district spreads over an area of 300 hectares and consists of 387 buildings. It will have 27,437 units, made up of 22,235 residential units (44.5 square metre studios and 66.5 sqm one beds) and 5,202 retail units. The Central District covers an area of 21 hectares and consists of 34 plots.

Dubai Land Department Director-General Sultan bin Mijren told 'Emirates 24|7' at Cityscape Global: "The property market has revived in Dubai and we are seeing increase in number of transactions compared to last year. Prices are going up in certain locations, but overall the market sentiment has improved."

Last week, however, Craig Plumb, Head of Research for Jones Lang LaSalle Mena, said while the Dubai market was certainly starting to recover, this improvement remains largely focused on a limited number of high quality assets/locations, “It has yet to trickle down to the overall market where rents and values have remained largely unchanged during 2012,” he said.



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