What you need to know about off-plan property investment

  • Better Informed
  • 04 Feb, 2020
What you need to know about off-plan property investment

A city that’s still growing at the speed of light, Dubai is famous for its off-plan property developments. Here’s how to navigate the landscape…

Purchasing an off-plan villa or apartment – a property that’s under construction that you purchase directly from the developer – can be a great way to get onto the property ladder or build up your portfolio, without breaking the bank by having to slap down a huge deposit. While the Dubai off-plan property market is maturing, there are still lots of upcoming developments to choose from that are ideal for those who aren’t in a rush to move in. Buyers can pick up a bargain, as developments that are currently under construction tend to be offered at a competitive price compared to the current market value, along with attractive payment plans made in instalments rather than one lump sum. What’s more, with some due diligence, off-plan properties can offer investors greater rental yields compared to completed units.

Making it worth your while

A barrier for many looking to buy on the secondary market can be the 25% deposit. If you go off-plan, however, you’ll only have to put down from 5-10%, depending on the project. Today, many developers are offering more flexible post-payment plans. Plus, you could still get a mortgage on the outstanding amount upon handover. Currently, for completed properties under AED 5 million you can apply to borrow up to 75% of the property value (80% if you are a UAE national), which means that if you paid half in cash during the construction period, you can mortgage up to 25% / 30% of the outstanding value. 

Indeed, there’s a lot more security for those investing nowadays. Wassim Abdullah, head of off-plan at Betterhomes, explains: “When you buy an off-plan property, your money will be deposited into an escrow account, which is overseen by an appointed bank as the trustee. The developer is only allowed to draw upon it once development milestones have been met, meaning you won’t find yourself in a situation where the developer has run out of money before completing the project.” 

Other popular incentives include waiving certain fees and expenses, such as the 4% Dubai Land Department (DLD) registration fee, service charges, property management fees and commission. 

“If you plan to rent out your property, the best places for off-plan investment are located on the beachfront,” says Abdullah. “But if you’re looking for a home to call your own, your decision will be based on a number of other factors, including proximity to work or schools, the build style and perhaps the different incentives offered.” 

Good places to look include Dubailand, which topped the list of maximum number of off-plan project launches in 2019 followed by Dubai Silicon Oasis, Jumeirah Village Circle and Downtown Dubai. As Abdullah recommends, beachside properties are an enduring favourite, but the ever-growing city is full of attractive and smart investment opportunities to suit all tastes and budgets…

Today, many developers are offering more flexible post-payment plans. Plus, you could still get a mortgage on the outstanding amount upon handover.

Arabian Ranches III, Ruba by Emaar

This exclusively 3- and 4-bedroom townhouse development will be the latest to join the hugely successful Arabian Ranches community. Choose from either the Siraj, Atheer or Manar Collection style of townhouses – each well-geared to family living. Boasting private gardens along with shared communal green spaces, a clubhouse and large swimming pool, this pedestrianised neighbourhood is expected to be a hit among savvy investors. 

Cost: Starting from AED1.4 million 

Completion date: Q2 2022

La Voile, Port de La Mer, by Meraas

Choose from La Voile’s three- to five-bedroom apartments that back onto Port de La Mer’s coastal promenade. The waterfront spot has a convenient location, just five minutes to La Mer, and 10 minutes to Downtown Dubai and City Walk. However, you’ll rarely need to leave as the community boasts its own array of leisure facilities and stretch of private beach. 

Cost: Starting from AED1.35 million 

Completion date: Q4 2021

Mina Rashid by Emaar

Offering contemporary waterfront living with glittering glass façades, floor-to-ceiling windows and generous balconies, this luxury seafront community is set to become Dubai’s answer to Monte Carlo. The QE2 is on the doorstep, as is a waterfront promenade, which will be home to myriad retail and dining options in the community with apartments, townhouses and penthouses. 

Cost: Starting from AED975,888

Completion date: September 2022

South Beach at Emaar Beachfront

Move over South Beach Miami – Dubai’s holiday spirited sea-front community is here. There’s a 24/7 concierge service for all the one- to three-bedroom hotel-style apartments here along with all the modern luxuries. There are various shopping and dining options situated along the private beach strip, while Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah are just five minutes’ drive away.

Cost: Starting from AED1.3 million with two years post-handover payment plan

Completion date: Q4 2021

Mudon Views by Dubai Properties

A collection of contemporary one- to three-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom duplexes nestled among the park and golf course greenery of Mudon, this is the chance to be part of an established community.

With a family-friendly feel and shops, swimming pools and community schools in the neighbourhood, it’s a tranquil spot with plenty to do. Conveniently located off Al Qudra Road, close to Hessa Street and Umm Suqeim Street, it’s just a 30-minute drive to Downtown Dubai. 

Cost: Starting from AED870,000 with a five-year post-handover payment plan

Completion date: 2020

Residences, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, District One

Visually minimalistic, each of the mansions, villas and apartments here has been designed to marry modern functionality with traditional design. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide views of either the Crystal Lagoon or neighbouring green spaces. Located in Meydan, you’ll have the racecourse and a new mall on your doorstep. 

Cost: Starting from AED1.2 million with a three-year service charge waiver

Completion dates vary

To find out more about latest off-plan projects, call 04 409 0991 or visit our off-plan property page.

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