Golf communities are high in demand
By Roxanne James

Golf Tourism Set to Boom in Abu Dhabi

International estate agents Chestertons claim that demand for luxury golf villa properties in Abu Dhabi for both sales and rentals has seen consistent growth in demand throughout the year. The company recently previewed two high-end properties namely Al Raha Golf Gardens and Abu Dhabi Mangrove Suites targeted at local Emiratis and high net worth expats.

A four bedroom townhouse villa at Al Raha Golf Gardens starts from just over €1m, with a six bedroom executive villa priced at around €3m and rentals for comparable properties in the range of €56k to €115k per year.

"Golf course communities offer a unique proposition to its residents by providing an opportunity to reside in an upscale address surrounded by beautiful views of a manicured golf course. Abu Dhabi's property market will continue to remain buoyant through 2016 due to its strong growth potential and rise in demand for such high end villa properties. Abu Dhabi's real estate sector provides signs of stabilisation, with an average 4% quarterly rental growth. Villa sales prices have remained stable in 2015, along with the recent launch of several new projects in Saadiyat which witnessed good demand", said Declan McNaughton, managing director of Chestertons.

Globally, Golf communities are high in demand due to their exclusivity and luxury appeal and are popular with senior executives and businessmen who can afford an exclusive lifestyle. Abu Dhabi has emerged as a regional golfer's destination with world class golf courses and luxury accommodation.

"Such high end properties are in short supply, therefore, demand will continue to grow in the coming years till the new projects are handed over. Abu Dhabi offers some of the best rental returns in the country and is one of the safest places for property investment. The developer's perception about the property market is set to be optimistic as new developments were launched primarily in Reem, Yas and Saadiyat Islands. This fosters confidence for the buyer into the market as more options are now available over time", added Drica Rodrigues, the head of Chestertons' Abu Dhabi Agency.

Following a rally in 2013 and 2014, Abu Dhabi's real estate market is facing a cooling off period linked to weaker sentiment and lower oil prices, experts say. Average sales prices across the Emirate's freehold markets increased by just 0.5% in the first quarter of 2015, compared to around 24% in 2014 and 31% in 2013, according to real estate consultants Cluttons.

While growth in the third quarter of this year also remained flat, the low level of expected completions over the next three years will help provide a cushion to the market, CBRE said in a recent report.

On average, the emirate will see around 8,500 new housing units per annum over the next three years, in contrast to the 11,000 units which have been completed annually over the past five years. This resistance in supply to rising demand, particularly for golf real estate, is set to keep prices at the top end into 2016.

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