The residential space is in the midst of a transformation, as lockdown has pushed residents to prefer more community-driven and open living spaces.
But is the current supply in Dubai sufficient?
Experts deem not yet, but they foresee it will be around 2022. So far, of the 37,000 residential units completed this year, only 7,000 were villas or townhouses, with the same number expected next year.
Speaking on Day Two of Cityscape Summit 2020, experts discussed the need for developers to look further into open spaces for residential property.
“If you look at the past year of launches, backyards have become extremely small or they’ve become front yards,” said Lynnette Abad, Director of PropertyFinder. “One trend I saw in my community in March is pools popping up in villas. Developers will have to look at that and consider.”
It comes as no surprise that people felt the need for larger living spaces during the global lockdown, including greater outdoor areas. And when apartment building facilities, including pools and gyms, closed down as COVID-19 first hit Dubai in March, PropertyFinder saw a whopping 400 percent increase in demand for villas and townhouses.
“We’ve had an all-time high of transactions in September and October ,” Abad continued. “There’s a trend moving away from the city into the suburbs and into their own personal space. Co-living will come up next year as well.”
CRAVING A SENSE OF COMMUNITY
Villa compounds were said to be performing extremely well, as a sense of community has been heightened. For Dounia Fadi, COO at Berkshire Hathaway, many developers are stepping up the game already, adding more community activities. Service charges are also considered a lot cheaper for villas.
“Sellers are even pulling out of deals,” she said. “Villas will hold strong during this challenging time.”
Sustainability is also on the agenda, with the next generation of youth expected to take on the role of recycling, solar panels and green composting.
“It’s coming, but it takes time and it’s costly,” said Elaine Jones, Executive Chairman at Asteco Property Management. “It’s a mindset.”
She also foresees more retirement communities to emerge, thanks to the recent launch of the UAE retirement residency visa,open to those 55 years old and above.
“It’s the type of community we need, next to schools or orphanages, where people can enjoy everything they need in one space,” she added. “This is where people should be able to have their end of life home.”