Dubai vacancies lowering prices

ABU DHABI, Dubai -- Dubai residential property prices and rents are set to fall further as losses of high-paying jobs and dwindling household incomes increase vacancies across the city, according to Phidar Advisory.

"The false start of early 2017 is over, and the cracks are starting to show," Jesse Downs, managing director at Phidar, an advisory firm specializing in real estate, wrote in a report on Tuesday. "Sales volumes of completed properties are at a six-year low, and vacancies are rising across the city."

Prices of single-family homes, known locally as villas, slid 10.2 percent on average in the past 12 months, while apartment values remained unchanged. Villa rents dropped 4.9 percent while apartment leases fell 3.4 percent in the period, Phidar said.

Owners who had resisted lowering prices or rents while awaiting a rebound in 2017 are starting to accept the reality of an extended downturn. Job losses, disproportionately among high earners, have resulted in vacancies across many of the city's established developments. Households are also downsizing, further pressuring the market.

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