Dubai’s luxury home market soars as the world’s richest escape pandemic

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) — After spending nearly 30 years in London, Christoph Reach was fed up with the city’s pandemic blockade. This spring he sold his luxury townhouse and flew to the desert emirates of Dubai to start a new life with his family.

He said there was no turning back. A very wealthy foreign friend of a French businessman is doing the same, with Dubai’s most exclusive real estate sales skyrocketing unprecedentedly.

“Here in Dubai, there is only one strategy. It’s a business as usual,” said Reach, chairman of the group of the same name that owns real estate and financial technology companies. The philosophy is simple: “Make sure everyone is vaccinated and keep everything open.”

“Of course, it fascinates people like me,” he said.

As vaccines spread unevenly around the world and the wave of infection forces countries to extend restrictions, foreign buyers flooded with cash are also in a world where they can directly eat, shop and do business. It flooded Dubai’s luxury real estate market, one of the few places. They are skyrocketing a record number of luxury villas and penthouses, and prices are skyrocketing in this booming market.

Dubai’s luxury property sales were once sluggish, but in the first quarter of 2021, they surged 230% compared to the same period last year. Prices in some top-end areas have risen by as much as 40%, according to PropertyFinder, the country’s largest real estate website.

Last month, real estate consultant Property Monitor said 90 record-breaking properties, each worth 10 million dirhams ($ 2.7 million), changed from 84 properties in March to more than eight years ago. It was. For comparison, there were 54 such transactions across 2020.

Matthew Cook, a partner at Knight Frank, a consultancy that manages the sale of penthouses in the Palm Jumeirah archipelago in Dubai, said:

As in the previous cycle, cash buyers began robbing homes at bargain prices and turned them over for profit. Analysts say it will continue until the price is too high and returns decline.

It remains unclear how long the epidemic will last and what awaits the city studded with skyscrapers. Home prices are still declining in the middle of the city’s saturated real estate market, and have fallen sharply since peaking seven years ago due to overbuilding. The average home selling price in Burj Harifa, the tallest building in the world, plummeted from $ 1,300 in 2013 to $ 400 per square foot this month.

Jackie Johns, a partner at Premier Estate, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, said: A debt-driven crisis that brought the city to its knees in 2008.

Luxury market hot streaks are not unique to Dubai, as ultra-low interest rates and the desire for more space for families are moving wealthy people in cities like New York and Paris to suburban mansions. But there are many other factors in the long-haul airline Emirates and the glamorous emirate with the tallest towers on the planet.

Since its first opening to tourists last summer, Dubai has established itself as a pandemic-friendly vacation spot in the world. With no mandatory all-day quarantine, foreign tourists have parties at Dubai’s bustling bars and beaches, taking selfies at hotel resorts and helicopter pads to arouse their hometown resentment.

The influx of tourists helped drive the country Dramatic surge in coronavirus cases In January, we urged the UK to suspend flights. However, the United Arab Emirates, with its young population and low mortality rate, is doing relatively well during the pandemic. More than 9 million countries, which relied heavily on China’s state-owned China National Pharmaceutical vaccine for vaccination campaigns, have been vaccinated 10.6 million times.

Dubai, a global financial center known as an oasis in the volatile Middle East, has long benefited from capital flight. Palm Jumeirah homeowners, who accounted for 43% of all April transactions, Afghan warlords and political elite We are looking for a safe place to park our savings from countries such as Nigeria, Syria and Lebanon.

Most of the wealthy buyers in this man-made archipelago and other luxury villa communities in Dubai, now commonly known as Palm, come from Europe, India, China and Russia, and better quality of life as the pandemic intensifies. I am seeking. In March, Palm recorded the second highest home sales in history when a Swiss family bought a waterfront mansion for $ 30.2 million. Last month, an unidentified European family bought the city’s third most expensive home for $ 28.6 million.

Abundant vaccines support that demand.But Effectiveness question Within China National Pharmaceutical Shot, Dubai offers other options, including Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca. All you need to get a jab is a residence visa. This is already offered by the city to luxury real estate buyers and investors.

Reach, who plans to buy land in Dubai to build his dream home, made a reservation for Pfizer shortly after receiving his place of residence. In the UK, he said he had to wait another four months.

New initiatives to seduce wealthy aliens include remote work visas, retirement visas, and long-term renewable “golden” visas.With unprecedented movement, authorities Providing Emirati Citizenship To the selected group of foreigners.To enhance the brand as an international city, the UAE Changed its strict Islamic codeAllows unmarried couples to live together and allows non-citizens to comply with foreign laws for divorce and inheritance.

Robert Mogiernikki, a resident student at the Arab Gulf Countries Institute in Washington, said Dubai’s vision for a post-pandemic high life is as foreign investors aim to “play a favorable role in economic recovery.” He said it was attracting attention.

Analysts say that even if the market surge collapses, the wealthy are unlikely to be struck by fallout. If anything, the pandemic shows that the world’s high flyers are thriving in crisis.

“The losers are at the bottom,” Mogielnicki said.


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