While off-plan was king in the Dubai real estate market in 2017, secondary market sales are likely to take centrestage next year, say market stakeholders.

Buyers are unlikely to see too much of the sales incentives and attractive payment plans that were rolled out by extra-generous developers this year. Off-plan projects now account for approximately 78 per cent of total real estate market transactions in Dubai.

It will be hard to see the off-plan market perform to the same extent as it did in 2017. Developers will find it difficult to sustain the pace of launches, offers and incentives as this year.

Supply coming up

According to the Property Monitor Supply Tracker, over 40,000 residential units are expected to be completed in Dubai in 2018. With so many units expected for completion in 2018, this may put pressure on rent and sales prices, in particular the secondary market.

Affordability of property sales prices is likely to be a recurring trend in 2018. Fence-sitters are advised to make up their minds on property investment in 2018 as several value-for-money deals abound.

2018 could be the perfect time to get in to the property market ahead of any price increases in the run-up to the Expo.

More rent drops?

After a marginal decline in 2017, house rents are expected to fall further next year with more supply being added to the market.

Meanwhile, tenants are also likely to benefit from being able to pay their rents with more cheques. During 2017, the number of cheques increased, with four cheques becoming the norm and in some areas six and even 12 cheques.

Regulations to look out for

The implementation of five per cent value added tax is the biggest regulatory change on the anvil next year.