UAE 'most favoured' real estate investment destination in GCC

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has held onto its position as the most desirable country for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) real estate investment in the Middle East, according to a recent poll.

Conducted by YouGov on behalf of Cityscape Global, the latest Real Estate Barometer poll revealed that 45 per cent of GCC home buyers and property investors stated that they felt most comfortable investing their money in real estate in the UAE, with almost two thirds selecting the country as their top choice for investment in the Middle East.

In terms of specific locations, the poll found that 69 per cent of respondents feel Dubai is their top city for real estate investment, with 66 per cent expecting interest in the city's property to increase significantly across the UAE.

The poll also highlighted prices across the region, revealing that the average budget set aside by property investors within the GCC was $717,000 (SR2.68 million), while the global average budget was significantly lower at $561,000. These averages were mainly dictated by two and three bedroom apartments, which were found to be the most desirable property types to those polled.

Commenting on these results, Tom Rhodes, Exhibition Director, Cityscape Global, has suggested that the positive numbers highlighted in the poll could support the idea that the real estate sector in the Middle East is experiencing a revival in terms of both traditional house buyers and real estate investors.

"We have seen a change of investor mind-set when it comes to the size of property sought after, shifting from one-bedroom and studio apartments in 2016 to a majority (54 percent) seeking two-to-three bedroom apartments shown by this year’s results," he said.

Mr Rhodes added: "This could signal a vote of confidence from investors and homebuyers as reports point to a rejuvenation in the real estate sector."

According to Kailash Nagdev, managing director for YouGov in the Middle East, the study actually highlighted a decline in both sale and rental prices across the UAE but confirmed that the responses from buyers and investors clearly remained positive regardless.

In fact, Mr Nagdev suggested that buyers were becoming more flexible in the region, resulting in increased success across the market and suggesting a positive future for all involved.

He commented: "Respondents are telling us a strong regulatory framework and a good supply of residential properties at different price points will be the key drivers of a healthy outlook for Middle East real estate."

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