There is a small window of opportunity for buyers to take advantage of the market
Q: How did you see Dubai when you first arrived and now?
A: I arrived in Dubai 17 years ago with one suitcase and a million dreams. People were flowing in from all corners of the world, looking to live under the sun in the fastest growing city in the world. Dubai had already made it on the world’s map by then, with exciting projects such as the Burj Al Arab, the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and great opportunities for young and not-so-young expats. This was before the laws were created for expat ownership. One of Emaar’s first projects, The Greens, was lease-to-own, followed by the first gated communities in Dubai such as Emirates Hills and Arabian Ranches. Then came The Promenade and Jumeirah Beach Residence. It was amazing to watch the city grow around you. Even now, I have the same feeling about Dubai’s future. The city will always grow around us with new and exciting developments ready to be revealed to our amazement. I can see the spectacular future ahead.
Q: How did the supply in 2018 and 2019 affect the market?
A: It has been an interesting couple of years with residential sales prices and rents continuing to decline in Dubai as a result of increasing supply and a strong local currency. We have witnessed the average sales prices for residential property decline by approximately 15 percent between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019. Average rents have also declined by approximately 20 percent over the same period. The average price for a house has reduced from AED 3.5 million to AED 3 million. For an apartment, the price has dipped from AED 1.3 million in 2018 to AED 1.2 million as of June 2019. Deloitte has estimated that the total number of residential units delivered in Dubai in 2018 was between 15,000 and 20,000, which is quite a large sum considering what is already available on the market. In 2019, the supply continues with heavily back-ended payment plans. However, there is always a silver lining, just ask me about our transactions.
Q: What are your views on real estate transactions this year?
A: We have seen a massive improvement and an increase in the number of transactions in the current market, especially since February this year. The drop in prices has encouraged more and more tenants to buy, investors to invest and buyers to grab that hot deal. What is selling is not only off-plan, which has increased compared to previous years, but we are also experiencing a high volume of transactions compared to Q4 2018. It is all about that HOT DEAL and in a small window of opportunity.
Q: What is selling at the moment?
A: Everything is selling at the moment. The magic is to price the property correctly, find where you can slot it in between all that is out there and find the unique selling points. Based on the market today, it is always about finding that fine line between the right value and the selling price. If there is a slight mismatch, that is a lost opportunity to either the buyer or seller. Buyers are taking their time to find their future home or investment, but they are eventually making that decision. Dubai has given us that feeling of being home. As a result, the trend has changed from short-term planning to long-term living and enjoying the lifestyle.
Q: How do you see real estate in Dubai in the next few years?
A: Dubai is an exciting, dynamic city that is always growing with top world-class residential developments. With a true mix of international cultures, no day is ever the same and that makes it so exciting to be involved with these projects from the outset. It has not always been easy. Our industry has its ups and downs, like any other. But I never forget this: “We are helping people realize their dreams, no matter what it has taken to make the new family get that home or the seller to take a step further in their personal life.” We have to focus and when things do not go as expected, we have to be flexible and positive. But above all, it takes tenacity and hard work to succeed. For me, the reward is not just financial, it’s essentially also a driving passion to help others, as everyone should have a roof over their head.
Q: How did winning second place in the Property Finder Best Agent Award benefit your business?
A: I was so delighted to receive the Best Agent Award in third place in 2017 and second place in 2018 and to be nominated for Property Finder Awards 2019. My clients were very happy for me. They were delighted at how Property Finder recognizes hard work and dedication. Since then, I have received more referrals, which is always the best reward. I am very grateful and appreciative as professional recognition has always been a dream, especially when you are a working mum and trying to juggle so much. I am sure you will agree that work-life balance for a mother can sometimes be difficult.
Q: What would you say to new agents starting in real estate today?
A: Before you start, ask yourself two main questions: How ambitious are you? How much do you believe in yourself?
Dubai is like no other city in the world, a city that rewards and keeps giving to those who are focused and have their eyes on their goals. I believe accomplishment always comes when you know what you want, are ready to work for it and have what it takes.
Senior Sales Consultant,
House Hunters Real Estate
2nd place, Best Agent,
Property Finder Real Estate Awards 2018