The real estate market is everchanging, with prices fluctuating over the years. In October, property sales in Dubai hit a total record of 5,000 real estate transactions according to Property Finder, and prices are expected to increase next year, ahead of the Expo 2020.
However, with so many luxury properties on the market, are there enough affordable options?
At Forbes Middle East’s Building The Future event, which gathered many of the industry’s heavyweights, Atif Rahman, Director & Partner of Danube Properties, said that affordable housing is a global opportunity.
“The affordable housing segment for me is the backbone of the real estate industry. There is always room for improvement,” he said. “I think in Dubai, we are definitely moving in the right direction to deliver affordable housing projects. There is no comparison that can be made.”
Dubai is actually the third most affordable major global city when it comes to purchasing prime residential property, according to a survey by Savills. Compared to expensive cities including Hong Kong, London and New York, Knight Frank's Wealth Report revealed that Dubai is the most affordable market in the luxury property sector. However, Rahman believes that we can’t compare to these major cities, as factors like the population’s per capita income and taxation vary and need to be taken into account.
“There’s no income tax so there’s no subsidiary that can be executed in the affordable housing segment,” he said. But the affordable housing segment is moving in the right direction.
“If we are not empowering consumers to acquire real estate, it conflicts with the affordable housing segment because that caters to those people who do not have enough funds,” Rahman added. “I think the biggest opportunity in the UAE is bank finance, which can be a gamechanger for the affordable housing segment. After that, I think we can keep talking about more and more areas where we can improve and make it more affordable and bring it down from $100,000 to $80,000 and then $70,000.”