Dubai’s red-hot property market is bracing for a slowdown

Just nine months after buying their first property in Dubai, Dina Habib and Karim Yusuf are already planning their next move within the city.

The Egyptian couple, who spent eight years renting in the emirate, are selling their two-bedroom apartment in the Jumeirah Village Circle district on the edge of Dubai for a 26% premium over the 1.7 million dirhams ($460,000) they paid for the property in March.

Habib is hoping to secure a larger property for her family of three for the same price or less.
“For many years, we’ve paid someone else’s mortgage because we were scared to buy in a market that went up and down,” said the 39-year-old researcher. “Now, we think the market may have peaked and so we’re planning to sell and buy a house with a garden next year when prices hopefully fall a bit.”

Habib and Yusuf are among hundreds of thousands of homeowners attempting to navigate Dubai’s red-hot housing market, which has outperformed most others around the world this year. They join tenants, property analysts and developers in trying to predict whether the market is finally starting to turn as a slew of new properties are delivered and global economic uncertainty catches up with the emirate.

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So far, the boom has been underpinned by an influx of wealthy investors such as Russians seeking to shield their assets, crypto millionaires and rich Indians seeking second homes. The government’s handling of the pandemic and its liberal visa policies also attracted more foreign buyers.Since January 2020, rentals in the emirate have surged about 42%, while home prices have jumped roughly 33%, according to property advisory

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