Abu Dhabi property deals top $11.6bn, says emirate

Skyscrapers stand on the skyline viewed from the Central Market in Abu Dhabi (Credit: Bloomberg News)

Oil-rich Abu Dhabi saw more than AED42.9bn ($11.68bn) in property transactions last year, the emirate’s municipality said on Wednesday.

Mortgage sales dominated the market, comprising AED39.1bn of the transactions, while land sales made up AED3.7bn of transactions registered during the 12-month period.

The municipality did not disclose the value of deals made in the year-earlier period, or the number of sales, but said the value reflected strong investor confidence in the emirate.

Data from the government agency showed the UAE capital registered its single largest mortgage contract last year, worth AED3.6bn.

Mortgage transactions peaked in August when deals worth some AED 9.82bn were registered in the emirate. Strong activity was also seen in June, when AED8bn worth of mortgages were filed, and in October with AED4.3bn worth of home loans.

Cash sales were their highest in December and March, reaching more than AED917m and AED871m respectively. Figures dropped during the months April to July, with just AED 91m in sales registered during the latter month.

Property broker Jones Lang LaSalle said this month it predicted rents in the UAE’s struggling real estate market to hit bottom in 2012, with leases showing signs of recovery in 2013.

Oil-rich Abu Dhabi will see steady property rents but is unlikely to see the same price recovery as neighbouring Dubai amid a pipeline of 28,000 units due online this year, JLL said.  

“Due to the significant development pipeline, [Abu Dhabi] rents will continue to experience downward pressure,” the report said. “This will help decrease the rent premium that Abu Dhabi has maintained over Dubai to date.”

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