Clients are buying properties from overseas virtually without even seeing the property physically or signing contracts in person.

Attractive property prices in Dubai are increasingly drawing overseas investors in droves, who are willing to snap up a well-priced property quickly even without viewing the property physically and proceeding with the sale from overseas via a remote transfer, market analysts said.

Real estate agents said they have had clients buying properties from overseas virtually without even seeing the property physically or signing contracts in person.

“With property prices in Dubai comparing favorably with markets globally, supply reducing and a sharp increase in activity in the property market, investors are looking at properties in the city and forming the opinion that they need to act now,” it said.
This trend towards buying a property virtually could be one of the reasons for Dubai to record a surge in real estate transactions in August despite the restrictions of the pandemic.

According to Data Finder, the real estate insights and data platform under the Property Finder group, August 2020 saw a rise of 11.3 percent in real estate transactions compared to August 2019. August did better than July this year by 2.2 percent.

“In previous years, the summer months were typically slower for real estate transactions in Dubai because of the summer holidays. This year, due to the Covid-19 situation, many residents chose not to travel. This, coupled with pent-up demand and attractive pricing drove transactions higher,” said Lynnette Abad, director of research and data at Property Finder.

“If we only look at secondary market transactions, August 2020 had 22.4 percent more transactions than August 2019 which coincides in what we saw in our search and demand data during the crisis,” said Abad.

The top areas for overall sales transactions in Dubai during August 2020 were Town Square, Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubai Marina, International City, and Business Bay. If only off-plan transactions were considered, the top areas were Jumeirah Village Circle, Business Bay, Palm Jumeirah, Arjan, and International City.

For secondary properties, the top areas for secondary sales transactions in Dubai were Town Square, Dubai Marina, Dubai Land, Downtown Dubai, and Dubai Sports City.

According to Property Finder, a new trend is a shift in demand from smaller units to larger units. “Since the start of the pandemic, the ratio of sales transactions for one-bedroom units has fallen by over 10 percent and for studios by more than 34 percent. The ratio of transactions for three, four, and five bedrooms has increased by nine percent, 20 percent, and 15 percent, respectively,” it pointed out.

“Since the crisis began, we saw the search demand for larger units and number of bedrooms increase significantly and the sales transactions we are seeing today further validate this data,” said Abad.

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