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Residential property market in Abu Dhabi slow in first quarter of 2016

In Abu Dhabi real there was a slight decrease in demand for higher priced residential units but sales activity was slow although relatively stable except for a handful of transactions concluding at below market rates. A fee of 3% on home rentals was announced as a Municipality Contract Fee, which will be applied to all Abu Dhabi’s expat residents and this could affect the market, according to the latest UAE property review from Asteco. Rental rates for prime and high quality residential apartments fell 2% compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, the report data shows. However, apartment rental rates remained, on average, 4% higher than the previous year’s rates. Mid and low quality units, in contrast, recorded stable rates with only a slight decrease for larger units, as tenants moved to newer developments offering similar or lower rental rates. Similar to the apartment sector, rental rates in the villa market were relatively stable in the first three months of 2016. However, there was a slight decrease in demand for the higher priced but older villas that are predominantly located on Abu Dhabi Island. In comparison, the majority of newer prime and high end villa developments, which include the Saadiyat Island projects, Golf Gardens, and Al Raha Beach, recorded their highest rental rates. The report suggests that a lack of quality villa communities continued to be the main factor behind the high rental rates throughout Abu Dhabi. Over the last 12 months, the prime and high quality villa projects recorded between 4% and 7% rental increases, while those for lower quality private villas decreased by more than 10% over the same period. A breakdown of the figures show that price movement varied with rates down by 5% to 7 % over the quarter in Reem Island communities whereas Saadiyat Island and Al Raha Beach recorded growth of 2% and up to 6% respectively and the report suggest this is due to the relative small availability of stock actually for sale in the market. The amount of upcoming supply on Reem Island, together with sales rates peaking in 2015, resulted in a large decrease in demand from buyers in the first quarter of 2016. Sales prices on Reem Island recorded an overall downward trend for the first three months of the year with rates for City of Lights dropping by approximately 10%, Sun and Sky Towers and The Gate Towers decreasing by 5% and 6% respectively, and Marina Square prices falling by 6%. The traded price at Marina Square in Q1 2016 ranged between AED 1,230 to AED 1,350 per square foot. The report also shows that after a period of strong demand for villas throughout 2015, the first three months of 2016 recorded limited sales activity. In particular, the more affordable units in the Al Raha Gardens and Al Reef developments saw only a few transactions taking place, of which most were below market rates. In comparison new developments on Yas Island were… Continue reading

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Older second home buyers attracted by mountainside property in Turkey

Mountainside villages within a short drive of the beach but away from the hustle and bustle are emerging as popular spots for second homes in Turkey, it is claimed. Older foreign buyers in particular are opting for areas away from busier coastal resorts and increasingly looking inland, according to Spot Blue International Property. ‘Turkey has built a name for itself as a quality beach resort destination. However, buyers searching for more peaceful, scenic surroundings are heading a few miles inland, where they can choose between a house or plot with permission to build. Once a few foreign people have homes in these spots, more like minded buyers follow,’ said the firm’s director Julian Walker. He pointed out that the village of Beycik near Kemer in Antalya province has attracted a small group of international home owners who are attracted by it its tranquil setting 700 metres up the pine clad foothills of Mount Olympos within a national park. The village is home to Beykent Villas, a small development of predominantly semi-detached villas set around a large pool and boasting sea, mountain and forest views. More than half of the owners at Beykent Villas are Turkish, with the remainder being English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, German and Russian. One couple who have owned a two-bedroom villa there since 2007, after buying through Spot Blue International Property, are Danuta and Jan Stanczyk from Buckinghamshire. ‘We knew the area from family holidays and find the coastline around Kemer where the mountains run down to the sea stunning. We were looking for a place near the coast but not on it, as we prefer calm, natural surroundings, and Beykent Villas offered exactly what we were looking for, as well as great value for money,’ said Danuta. ‘It’s also less humid than down by the sea, which helps you to stay cool in the summer months, and you can smell the pine trees. Eight years later we have befriended other British owners, some of whom are resident there all year,’ added Danuta. The Stanczyks’ semi-detached villa includes balconies facing the sea, a large basement room that could be a third bedroom and a small terraced garden. There are also communal garden areas which, like the pool, are maintained to a high standard by a management firm. The centre of Beycik is within walking distance, where there are two stores, and a handful of restaurants and bars. However, for a better choice of amenities, the small resort of Tekirova is a 15 minute drive and the larger town of Kemer is 30 minutes away. ‘We usually go out to Beycik twice a year, in the spring and autumn, when we spend a lot of time by the pool. We do go to the beach too and one of our favourites is Adrasan, but closer ones include Tekirova, Phaselis and Cirali, from where you can also visit the ruins of Olympos and the amazing eternal fires of Chimaera. And we enjoy… Continue reading

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Residential property cash sales in the US falling, latest data shows

Cash sales in the United States made up 34.8% of total home transactions in September 2014, down from 37.2% a year ago, according to the latest data to be published. The year on year share has fallen each month since January 2013, making September the 21st consecutive month of declines, the data from real estate firm Core Logic. Month on month, the cash sales share ticked up by 1%, however, the firm points out that cash sales share comparisons should be made on a year on year basis due to the seasonal nature of the housing market. Prior to the housing crisis, the cash sales share of total home sales averaged approximately 25% with a peak in January 2011 when cash transactions made up 46.4% of total home sales. Real estate owned (REO) sales had the largest cash sales share in September 2014 at 58.1%, followed by re-sales at 34.4%, short sales at 32.4% and newly constructed homes at 16.8%. While the percentage of REO sales that were cash transactions remained high, REO transactions made up only 7.8% of total sales in September and, therefore, did not have a large influence on the overall cash sales share. In January 2011, when the cash sales share was at its peak, REO sales made up 23.9% of total sales. A breakdown of the figures shows that Delaware had the largest share of any state at 57.4%, followed by Florida at 50.8%, Alabama at 49.6%, New York at 44.4% and Idaho at 43.3%. Of the nation's largest 100 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) measured by population, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Florida, had the highest share of cash sales at 56.2%, followed closely by West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, also in Florida at 55.9%. Then came Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, in Florida at 54.8%, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, also in Florida, at 54.7% and Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, in Michigan at 53.1%. The data also shows that Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C. had the lowest cash sales share at 16.2%. Continue reading

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