The expat dream of affordable housing

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Affordable housing is a long-held dream of every expat living in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi’s extortionate rents have always been in the news. The emirate has been ranking high in the global living price index. According to CBRE’s Global Living Report 2016, Abu Dhabi has one of the highest rents in the world.

In the last decade, even as many new development projects have redefined the real estate landscape in the Capital, middle-class families have continued to reel under the exorbitant rents charged in the city.

The gleaming residential towers and beachfront villas are beyond their reach. Market experts estimate villa rents fell by six per cent and apartment rents by seven percent in Abu Dhabi in 2016. It is a huge relief for residents, yet housing is the biggest budget drainer for many low-income families and bachelors. This is compounded by the acute shortage of affordable housing units in a real-estate market where supply outgrows demand otherwise. Industry experts say builders have not tapped into this segment because of the low-profit margins. Mario Volpi, chief sales officer, Kensington Luxury Real Estate Brokers said that given there is little by way of rentable affordable housing, this segment is potentially huge. “But developers have been narrow-minded, preferring to target the luxury end of the market, perhaps believing that profits would take a hit compared to higher valued projects.”

Source Credit: Khaleej Times
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