Sustainability is the main focus for real estate investors in the Middle East - Knight Frank’s survey

Sustainability is the main focus for real estate investors in the Middle East - Knight Frank’s survey

50 percent of homebuyers in the region want their next property to be energy efficient.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed attitudes towards buying properties and, according to a new study, sustainability is now a highly important aspect for home buyers in the Middle East.

Knight Frank’s global buyer survey results that were released on Monday showed that 50 percent of homebuyers in the region wanted their next villa or apartment to be energy efficient.

The study also revealed that such features as proximity to green space (18 percent), good air quality (18 percent) and good views, like ocean, mountain and skyline (14 percent), mean more to homebuyers in the Middle East than to their global counterparts.

'Green is definitely the new black, and in the Middle East, buyers are increasingly focused on all things ESG. Half of the respondents cited the energy efficiency of their next home being a ‘very important’ issue, compared to 42 percent of global buyers,' said Faisal Durrani, head of Middle East research at Knight Frank.

Sales of residential property in Dubai have been increasing since the ease of coronavirus restrictions. Many buyers lean towards buying villas in premium areas, as private space becomes a priority during the pandemic.

In August 2021 alone, buyers spent USD 4 billion on residential units in Dubai, the highest result recorded in one month since January 2017, according to Property Finder.

Across the world, since the coronavirus outbreak, the volume of property sales has been rising, too. According to Knight Frank’s survey, about 33 percent of global buyers said they were more likely to purchase a second residential unit as a result of COVID-19. Last year 26 percent said so.

Of those who are interested in buying a second home, 23 percent said the pandemic had affected their location choice. As for the Middle East, 57 percent of respondents said they were most likely to buy a villa or a home in a more rural area next time. This is slightly higher than the rest of the world’s respondents (51 percent).

Villa prices in Dubai have expanded by 7.8 percent since the first quarter of 2020, while apartment prices fell by 5.9 percent, fccording to Durani. He pointed out that it only indicates the fact that buyers are still eyeing bigger and more expensive homes for their next purchase.

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