Renting a home beats buying in the UAE

Dubai property market

A nationwide survey we conducted recently revealed interesting findings about renting behaviour in the UAE. Take a look.

  • The share of UAE residents who rent is significantly higher than those who own property.
  • Whilst 72 percent of respondents said that they rented property, 28 percent said that they owned their homes.

Stating that renters are likely to outnumber buyers given the numbers of expats who move to the UAE for work, Renan M. Bourdeau, our Deputy CEO, “RERA has induced greater stability into rental contracts than what was seen up until a couple of years ago, passing regulations on rent rises and the length of a tenancy. However, we see landlords getting round these laws by telling tenants that they plan to move into or sell the property in order to put it back on the market for a higher price. So clearly, these laws and rising rents are not driving people to rent in the way we would like.”

Dubai real estate market

“Commenting on the rationale for the renting life, Bourdeau explained, “Home price increases over 2013 have made buying significantly more expensive, tipping the math in favour of renting. Additionally, tighter credit standards for mortgages, capping of the loan-to-value limit at 75 percent and doubling of property registration fees mean that unless you have enough to put a healthy deposit down to secure a mortgage, you will need to stick with renting. It’s no surprise then that would-be buyers feel priced out of the housing market.”

However, this might just change. “Affordable stock coming up in communities such as Dubailand, Dubai Sports City and Jumeirah Village Circle is opening up the market to a wider investor segment. This is likely to encourage more people to buy and gradually shift the trend away from renting,” added Bourdeau.

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