By Staff Writer www.business24-7.ae
A home that is close to the office or a Metro station is more important than one with a good view, according to a survey of 625 Dubai residents conducted by master developer Limitless.
Being able to walk to work is the top priority when choosing somewhere to live for nearly 40 per cent of people in the emirate, while having a Metro nearby is the most important factor for almost one in three (29 per cent).
Experts say that properties that are close to the Metro are not only favoured by residents, but will also see an increase in prices once the Metro is fully functional.
“However, proximity to a station is a value-added feature and can contribute to selling a property, which in the current market is an advantage. For example, companies looking to either buy or rent staff accommodation often consider proximity to a station as a significant benefit. Corporate clients are often more likely to opt for residential units with easy access to a Metro station so their employees can commute to work,” Jesse Downs, Director of Research and Advisory Services, Landmark Advisory told Emirates Business.
There may be premium on these properties in the future, but it will be difficult to quantify at the moment, say experts.
“This [the premium] is difficult to quantify, especially as the Metro is not yet operational. Once we’re able to assess Metro usage this will translate into residential premiums. Personally I could imagine an average sale premium of 5-10 per cent developing in the first 1-2 years of the Metro’s operation. However, this all depends on prevalence of Metro use,” adds Downs.
Tellingly, residents say they are prepared to pay more for these privileges, according to the research, carried out for Limitless by AMRB. Good views are third on residents’ property wish list, followed by a socially active community and a view of a park.
The findings will help people minimise the use of cars. Many projects such as The Galleries at Downtown Jebel Ali in Dubai, where a series of mixed-use communities served by a range of transport, including the Metro, will enable people to live and work in the same area – without needing a car.
Cars are currently the most popular form of transport in Dubai – residents drive on average, on 24 days each month, with 80 per cent travelling by car each week – but drivers will switch to the Metro for some journeys when the new service opens. One in four people will use it up to three times a week; one in five daily; and one in eight up to six times each week, found the study.
Saeed Ahmed Saeed, CEO, Limitless, said: “Congestion is costly to health, wellbeing, the environment and the economy. There are an estimated 600 million vehicles crowding the roads on our planet, costing tens of billions of dollars each year in wasted fuel and lost productivity.
“Walkable communities, served by green transport systems, will reduce carbon emissions, cut congestion and allow people to spend less time on the road and more with those who matter. Our research sends out a clear message: people want to walk more and try alternative transport to the extent that it influences where they live and how much they are willing to pay,” he said.