Real estate players in Dubai have noted that there is an increasing demand for completed and near-completion premium residential projects.
According DAMAC Properties, the region’s largest private luxury developer, there is a marked increase in buyer interest in its portfolio of completed and near-completed residential projects.
“The Middle East is suffering from a significant shortage of quality residential properties for investment and end use, which may endure for several years,” said Niall Mc Loughlin, Senior Vice President of DAMAC Properties.
“Reports of increasing demand are being reflected in our diminishing supply of inventory in our completed residential projects. At DAMAC Properties we have very few apartments left in our residential projects which have been handed over, and we are now seeing shift their focus to projects which are more than 60% complete.”
Meanwhile according to property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle investor interest in the Middle East region has increased considerably in 2011. However, interest remains focused on a narrow band of completed, income producing residential properties. In its latest quarterly report, the consultancy claimed there is a lack of investment grade stock coming to market.
“Across the Middle East, the surge in demand for quality residential properties is outstripping the current supply,” Mc Loughlin commented. “Standards of living are also changing rapidly in this region and people now expect a lot more for their money.”
The change in consumer behaviour is prompting developers, such as DAMAC Properties, to pay greater attention to the quality of the finish and standard of facilities in residential developments currently under construction.
“Our residential developments in the UAE have set a high standard for quality, and customers in other regional markets, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon and Jordan, are now demanding the same level of quality and luxury,” Mc Loughlin pointed out.
Saudi Arabia will need nearly one million new housing units over the next three years, according to wealth manager NCB Capital, while Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, says the country could face a severe shortage of quality housing this year.