On the show floor, Cityscape highlighted the desire of investors and end users to own property in Dubai, with key exhibitors reporting big business.
Sobha Real Estate revealed that it closed deals worth more than Dh100 million ($27.2 million) during the first two days of the three-day event, which ends today (Nov. 23) at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
"We started the pre-sale of Sobha Hartland One on the first day of Cityscape and there was a lot of interest. There is now a huge appetite and Sobha's stand is already packed with visitors and interested parties," said Francis Alfred, managing director of Sobha Real Estate.
With Dubai's real estate sector booming, Cityscape Intelligence Talks are a big draw as stakeholders in the sector seek insight into key players.
In a panel discussion titled "Buying Dubai: Hunting for Yield, Moving to the Suburbs and What's Next for Property Buyers," Matt Gregory, COO of Houza.com, Sam McCone, Managing Director of McCone Properties, and Safura Abasniya, CEO of Aston Pearl Real Estate Broker, all agreed that There is untapped potential in the Dubai real estate market, but developers need to do more to meet demand, and homebuyers and investors must think about what it is they really want to buy.
"For investors, the opportunity is there. If we look at the third quarter, 50 percent of buyers are cash buyers," Gregory said, adding that there is always a need for affordable villas in the market, but there is still a shortage of supply.
"There's a distinct lack of affordable villas and townhouses that you can categorize as local, not further out. Developers have the opportunity to evaluate and decide that this is the way the industry needs to go," he noted.
Safura Abasniya adds, "Today, one in 10 launches are villas or townhouses, while 90 percent are apartments. In three years, the demand for family homes in Dubai will grow exponentially, so if you are an investor, these will be the properties you need to look at."
Sam McCone, the third member of the panel, countered." Dubai is considered to be a safe haven. There are opportunities here for end users and investors, but it depends on what investors are looking for. Some properties have gone up 150 percent and I don't think that's sustainable. However, there are options for affordable communities which can add value for homebuyers. Dubai offers a wide range of options and opportunities, but investors need to be wise in deciding where they put their money."
Earlier, in an insightful panel of residential developers, Afzaal Hussein, CEO of Azizi Developments, told delegates." There is a lot of interest in Dubai. Now is the time for the city to launch and take advantage of as much of that as possible. There is an opportunity to invest anywhere. Yes, you can get a villa for Dh200-300 million if you want, but you can also get a studio or a single room for Dh150-300,000."
As the supply of family homes becomes an ongoing topic of discussion, Zhann Jochinke, COO of Property Monitor, adds, "There is a shortage of inventory. We have seen 38,000 new projects enter the market this year, but only 5% are villas and about 15% are townhouses, while the rest are apartments, so the supply is not meeting the demand."