Similar to most sectors of the world that were affected by the impact of COVID-19, the hospitality and tourism sector was one that took a significant blow. A recent report conducted by Deloitte indicated a 28% drop in YTD occupancy from the year 2019 to 2020 during the same period in Dubai. In terms of the residential market, 39% of investors from the world’s most developed markets believe that real estate values will fall between 5% to 10% as reported by Duff & Phelps.
The impact of COVID-19 was however not linear, many in 2020 chose to opt for larger spaces with superior amenities and due to the decrease in prices. However, a lot has changed since 2020; with the EXPO 2020 emerging soon, things are slowly turning around and Dubai’s real estate market is finding its way back to pre-covid levels this year.
Focus on Local Market Segments
One of the most notable contributors to the industry was East Asia. However, due to the onset of COVID-19 many in the industry have refocused their efforts towards the local market segment. Local segments, mainly consisting of expatriates including Russian, Indians, Pakistani’s along with GCC nations (including the United Arab Emirates) and young Emirati entrepreneurs seemed to offset the decline caused in the first wave of COVID. Furthermore, Millennials are also forming a large pool of homeowners in 2021, making up for the slowing home market.
Increased Sanitisation and Hygiene Standards
One of the main concerns is evidently pertinent to the hygiene aspect. Many realtors have made it their mission to take into account the pre-showing cleaning checklist in order to sanitize listings. Disinfecting, and thoroughly sanitizing the surfaces, either through an in-house team or hiring a commercial service is a great way to take precautionary measures towards the outbreak. Our in-house maintenance team, for instance, has taken great measures towards sanitizing properties and maintaining safety standards.
Preference for Low-Density properties
Low-density housing has become somewhat of a common trend ever since 2020; due to the impact of COVID, it has highlighted a risk of opting for high-density property on residents, followed by developers proposing designs that incorporate social distancing standards. Moreover, tenants and investors are more likely to prefer ‘liveable’ spaces as the majority adjust to working from home.
Rise in Online Real Estate Services
With the outbreak giving rise to more online services and encouraging e-commerce platforms, it is no surprise that the real estate industry has quickly caught on. The use of online marketing has helped many real estate agents to target specific markets and maximize their revenue. Inculcating technology into their practice has also helped them keep up with the changing consumer habits.