Residential stock surges by around 4,400 units in last quarter Abu Dhabi's prime residential property prices grew 25 per cent in 2013, Jones Lang LaSalle , a real estate investment and advisory firm, said in its fourth quarter report. In its Abu Dhabi Market Overview report covering the office, residential, retail and hospitality market sectors, Jones Lang LaSalle said, "there is continued stability across all market sectors, supported by major government investment initiatives and positive sentiment." Residential stock increased by around 4,400 units in the last quarter of 2013, bringing the total stock to around 218,000 units. Additions to supply came from units at Saadiyat Beach and Al Reef . "The residential sector is leading Abu Dhabi's market recovery," David Dudley , regional director and head of Abu Dhabi office at Jones Lang LaSalle , Middle East & North Africa , said. Prime residential sales prices increased on average by six per cent during the fourth quarter of 2013, resulting in annual growth of 25 per cent during 2013 — driven by improved investor sentiment and expectations of further price and rental growth. "The prime residential rental market increased on average by eight per cent during the quarter, resulting in annual growth of 17 per cent during 2013 – in part driven by new job growth, reduced commuting from Dubai and the removal of the five per cent annual rent cap," Dudley said. Prime residential rents on average reached Dh140,000 for a two bedroom apartment. There were also a number of major completions in the office market this quarter, including Capital Tower at Capital Centre, the World Trade Centre building on Hamdan Street and the Landmark Tower on the Corniche . Retail stock increased by 67,000sqm of Gross Leasable Area this quarter, with the delivery of the World Trade Centre Mall on Hamdan Street and the Eastern Mangroves Promenade retail complex. Average line store retail rents remained unchanged this quarter at Dh2,887/sqm per annum for malls on Abu Dhabi Island and at 1,990/sqm per annum for malls outside Abu Dhabi . David Dudley , noted: "The short to medium-term market outlook remains positive, driven primarily by major government-backed construction and infrastructure projects such as the airport expansion, transport improvements and leisure attractions." However, he said that "a long term sustainable market recovery remains dependent on further government initiatives to diversify the economy and generate new long-term sustainable employment growth." "A sustainable recovery is also dependent on the government continuing to implement further supply controls to ensure a balanced real estate market going forward," Dudley added. The Abu Dhabi market looks positive in the medium term, but there will be selective strong performers specific to sectors, locations, user requirements, property management and overall infrastructure, he said.
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