Buying and Selling Dubai Real Estate

Many investors have profited from buying and selling property in Dubai, and forecasts of growth up to 7% in 2024 demonstrate the sector’s potential.

Anyone looking to buy real estate in Dubai may take in the figures and see no impediment to their immediate involvement. However, as with any financial commitment, the most profitable time to buy or sell Dubai property is reliant on several factors. Careful analysis of the sector over time is advisable if the market’s potential is to be realised.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO BUY PROPERTY IN DUBAI?

There’s no particular ‘best time’ to buy real estate in Dubai, nor to make a sale. As with housing markets across the world, there are pros and cons to selling at different points of the year.

Seasonal trends

Dubai tends to have more visitors during its cooler months, or from October to March. As a result, there is often a higher number of potential buyers in the country over winter. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that many of these visitors will be there solely for tourism.

Market trends

Housing markets fluctuate, so it pays to monitor the dynamics of Dubai real estate sales, from one quarter to the next. For example, 2023 saw consistent figures across its entire 12 months.

  • Q1: 30,898 sales transactions (+50.6% year-on-year).
  • Q2: 30,264 sales transactions (+34.8% year-on-year/-2.1% on Q1).
  • Q3: 36,708 sales transactions (+43.9% year-on-year/+23.1% on Q2).
  • Q4: 35,430 sales transactions (+23.1% year-on-year/-3.5% on Q3).

As the statistics demonstrate, seasonal numbers are worthy of consideration, but don’t tell the whole story. In 2023, the highest number of sales occurred during Dubai’s hottest period. It’s also worth taking completion times into account, which may take from 1-2 months.

Local expertise

Those immersed in Dubai’s property scene on a 24/7 basis are best-poised to manage any sale. They’ll be well-versed with Dubai’s real estate trends both in the long and short term, and make recommendations centred on securing the very best deals for their clients.

REAL ESTATE ‘FLIPPING’: A DEFINITION

Some commentators have declared Dubai’s housing market to be perfectly-poised for ‘flipping’ opportunities. This informal term refers to the notion of buying a property for its profit potential, and selling in the short term.

Recent data suggests that such a strategy has increased in recent times, as Dubai’s real estate prices surpassed their previous high to reach AED 1,271 | GBP 275 per sq. ft. Let’s take a look at some specific examples:

809 The Grove by Iman, Dubai Hills Estate

  • Off-plan studio purchased September, 2023 for AED 873,604 | GBP 188,654
  • Sold November 2023 for AED 1,070,000 | GBP 231,065
  • Increase: AED 196,396 | GBP 42,411

Harmony 3, Harmony, Tilal Al Ghaf

  • Ready-made villa purchased January, 2022 for AED 4,145,000 | GBP 895,108
  • Sold January, 2024, for AED 6,230,000 | GBP 1,345,361
  • Increase: AED 2,085,000 | GBP 450,253

R-16-02, The Lana, Business Bay

  • Off-plan apartment purchased July, 2021 for AED 18,135,000 | GBP 3,914,947
  • Sold August, 2023, for AED 31,000,000 | GBP 6,692,218
  • Increase: AED 12,865, 000 | GBP 2,777,271

Such a tactic can – and has – worked for some Dubai real estate investors, but it’s a policy that comes with risk, especially in the sphere of contract reassignments, or off-plan buying/selling. Making a short-term profit in any market is never guaranteed.

Profitable ‘flipping’ in Dubai requires a high degree of knowledge regarding the country’s housing sector, and a back-up plan should any fluctuations occur in the market.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BUYING PROPERTY IN DUBAI?

High rental yields, zero capital gains or income tax, and consistent growth have seen Dubai regularly named amongst the world’s best places to buy property. 2023 saw real estate growth in every quarter, with a high in the winter season.

  • Q1 +5.6%
  • Q2 +4.8%
  • Q3 +5%
  • Q4 +7.8%

The upward trend of sector growth is expected to continue in 2024, with estimations around the 5% mark. Such figures make the region a highly-attractive proposition when it comes to investing in its real estate sector.

However, it’s important to note that average figures omit the most – and least – profitable areas for the housing market. The following regions saw the most transactions in 2023:

Regional trends can change from month-to-month and year-to-year, so it’s highly-recommended to speak with a local consultant prior to making any investment decision.

WHO IS BUYING PROPERTY IN DUBAI?

British nationals have traditionally been Dubai’s biggest real estate investor, but the second and third quarters of 2023 saw Indian numbers surge. Reports also show that the number of Pakistani investors surpassed those from Russia for the first time last year.

Regardless of this shift, anyone looking to invest in Dubai real estate from the UK should note that approximately 75% of the population speaks English, even though Arabic remains the country’s official language.

THE PROCESS OF BUYING REAL ESTATE IN DUBAI

It is relatively easy to buy property in Dubai when compared to many overseas markets, as long as the right legal assistance is taken. Following a consultation with a real estate partner, both parties in the arrangement will need to agree terms of sale. Once an agreement is reached, the following steps must be taken:

Dubai has a range of long-stay visas available for its foreign property investors. Those purchasing property with a value of AED 2M | EUR 503,000 are entitled to a Golden Visa, granting the owner 10 years’ residency in the kingdom.

For more information on how to buy property in Dubai, read our guide.

MAXIMISE PROFITS THROUGH LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

Timing remains a vital component when it comes to maximising profits in Dubai’s real estate sector.

With a still-expanding market and excellent projected growth figures, the region holds immense potential for those looking to buy or sell real estate in Dubai. Yet the most prosperous moves will likely come from those who undertake proper research prior to making a financial commitment.

Begin your investment journey with a free consultation, or reach out to leverage our decades of Dubai in-market experience today.

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