THE ADDRESS Magazine Summer 2014 - Page 322

All the figures point to a continued strong demand for property in Dubai. Transaction volume rose by 53% in 2013, for an aggregate amount of AED236 billion according to Dubai Land Department's statistics. Demand is coming not just from investors, but from growth in jobs. A report by Oxford Economics estimates that Expo 2020 will create an additional 275,000 jobs over the course of next six years The story is much the same in Abu Dhabi. Knight Frank dubbed the city, along with Dubai, one of the world's fastest growing premium markets and that is evident by the city's healthy rental yields. The average apartment there was 26% more expensive in the first quarter of this year than it was a year earlier while villa prices went up 21.7% during the same time. On the other hand, while rental prices were up year over year, they fell slightly between the last quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. However, rental yields were a healthy 6.84% for apartments and 7% for villas in the first quarter of this year. Another sign of the UAE’s strong housing market is the fact that both cities are growing outwards, with secondary suburban areas now coming to the attention of investors. Overall, the UAE real estate market is now supported by sound fundamentals, regulated governance, and a strong job market. Dubai buyers love that high-up view Luxury condo buyers in Dubai are looking for great views of the Gulf and sweeping skylines, the international real estate firm Cluttons says. Both domestic and foreign buyers are driving up building heights with their demand for views, the firm says, and several buildings of 300 metres and higher are under construction. Damac Residences (335 metres), The Address The Boulevard (370 metres), Dream Dubai 322 Marina (432 metres), Al Habtoor City Towers (300 metres) and Al Attar Tower (342 metres) are all underway. Another type of home in high demand is a gated community with views of open green space. As a result, inland suburban communities are also very popular. Stamp duty change boosts Hong Kong second home sales Hong Kong residential property transactions rose 10% month over month in May, the highest level in 15 months, according to a report by Knight Frank. In total, there were 5,270 transactions that month, the second month in a row the numbers were up. Sales of luxury residences valued at HKD10 million or higher rose by 17% that month from the month earlier and there were 505 such transactions. Competition from new build units, meanwhile, was causing sellers to reduce prices, said the report. A government plan to relax the Double Stamp Duty seemed to boost sales as it became easier for buyers of second homes to obtain a tax refund. Previously, buyers were required to sell their first