Abu Dhabi’s real estate market saw a rise in transactions over Q3, with market activity continuing to gain pace following the easing of social distancing measures in May, according to the Chestertons’ Observer: Abu Dhabi Market Report Q3 2020.

Although apartment and villa sales prices continued to fall on average, the rate slowed to 0.6% and 0.2%, respectively. On an annual basis, average apartment prices fell by 4.8%, with villas seeing a decline of 4.7%.

Chris Hobdem, Head of Strategic Consultancy, Chestertons MENA, said: “Abu Dhabi enjoyed a more active third quarter, with both sales prices and rental rates showing greater stability.

“COVID-19’s economic impact will undoubtedly continue to weigh on rental rates short-term, with improvements in residential market performance over 2021 largely contingent on a broader economic recovery. The sales market has been buoyed by developer incentives and promotions, including extended post-handover payment plans and fee waivers. This, in conjunction with partnerships with banks to provide customers with access to preferential mortgage rates, has served to support transactions,”

“The flexibility shown by landlords on lease terms has been key to supporting the rental market over Q3. Multiple rental cheques are now widely expected by tenants, with payment through four to eight cheques, and in some cases, twelve, becoming increasingly common. Landlords continued to offer promotional rent-free periods and increasingly listed units with the option of shorter lease lengths,” added Hobden.

“With household incomes likely to remain under pressure, landlords will need to continue to demonstrate flexibility to both attract and retain tenants over Q4 2020,” he concluded.