Increased Demand for Sustainable Developments to Diversify Offerings in Real Estate Sector

Increased Demand for Sustainable Developments to Diversify Offerings in Real Estate Sector

Property experts weigh in on green frameworks and sustainable community living as a growing decision driver amongst potential home-seekers

The first half of 2024 has showcased remarkable successes for the UAE’s real estate sector, witnessing a surge in diversified demand, while recording the highest volume and value of transactions ever in May.

Property Finder’s latest white paper titled ‘Opening Doors’ revealed that people are now looking for spacious layouts that can be personalized and community living amongst many other factors influencing choice for property seekers today.

What particularly stands out is that consumers are increasingly demanding for sustainability to be factored into community design with LEED certifications being a priority.

Driving this national interest, the UAE government has put in place several initiatives to bring to life its visions for future cities with sustainability and liveability being important considerations.

Some notable efforts include the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 as well as Abu Dhabi’s plan 2030. As the property ecosystem expands to include several new demand drivers, experts share why sustainability is a key deciding factor to look out for:

A unique selling point for developers of tomorrow

Louise Heatly, Owner and Managing Director, Exclusive Links Real Estate acknowledges cost can be perceived as a challenge in the way of eco-conscious living, but is actually an opportunity in disguise.

“Developers can leverage sustainability as a unique selling point, capitalizing on the willingness of 70% of investors to pay premiums for green properties. Overcoming challenges through education and innovative financing models presents an avenue for Dubai to continue leading the charge towards a more sustainable future in real estate,” she said.

Shedding light on Abu Dhabi’s efforts to embrace sustainability, Kika Pavese, Managing Director, MD Real Estate added: “We have observed a significant rise in consumer interest in this trend and the shift is reflective of a broader awareness and commitment towards sustainability among residents and investors.

"Among the challenges is balancing the expansion of projects like Masdar City and the forthcoming Aldar Sustainable City with the imperative of affordability for residents. Ultimately, the success of sustainable housing in the UAE will depend on a collaborative approach.

"One that includes government initiatives, private sector innovation, and public willingness to embrace a sustainable lifestyle. On the opportunity front, the UAE's embrace of renewable energy opens doors for solar-powered homes and communities, potentially even incorporating energy-plus housing, where buildings generate more energy than they consume.

"There's also potential for advancements in sustainable building materials, such as those that are recycled, locally sourced, or that reduce energy consumption.”

Diversified visa policies underpinning sustainable choices

Earlier this year, the UAE government launched the Blue Residency Visa as a ten year entry permit designed for individuals who have made a significant contribution towards the overall environment in the UAE.

The decision lays the foundation for increased sustainable choices nationwide, which could have an impact on real estate as well.

Kika explained: “The Blue residency visa is a game-changer for the real estate market in Abu Dhabi. It attracts a demographic seeking long-term stability while promoting investments in sustainable living.

"We expect this visa to significantly increase the demand for sustainable properties, as more residents look for homes that align with their environmental values and offer long-term cost savings.

"For investors, this is a substantial advantage, as properties with sustainable solutions will see higher demand compared to those without. This initiative is set to attract considerable international investment into the capital, positioning the UAE as a focal point on the global stage."

New areas of development to reckon with

According to Property Finder’s latest UAE Community Living Survey, real estate consumers - including investors, end-users and renters - are increasingly looking for community centric living that is in line with their personal aspirations and values sustainable-living increasingly being one.

In this vein, highlighting his outlook on the future, Abdullah Alajaji, Founder, Driven Properties shared: “Dubai has always been a symbol of innovation. As we look to the future, it is clear that sustainable building is the foundation upon which all successful real estate ventures must be built.

"Investors and buyers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their properties, and there is a growing demand for homes and commercial spaces that are both luxurious and sustainable. As we continue to grow, it is imperative that we embrace sustainability as the core of our development ethos."

Shedding light on ongoing efforts in this space, he added: “Designed to set new benchmarks in green construction, incorporating the latest in eco-friendly technologies and sustainable materials, our latest project, Park Lamar, epitomizes our commitment to sustainable building.”

With several new projects in the pipeline, property seekers have a lot to look forward to. However, this also requires a well-developed search ecosystem that is up-to-date with the latest market trends and offers consumers all the information they need in one place for better decision making.

Cherif Sleiman, Chief Revenue Officer, Property Finder: "It is promising to see the growing conversation around sustainability in the industry, aligned with the broader national vision.

"Reflected in our latest White Paper findings, consumers are prioritizing this deciding factor in their home-seeking journey, both within communities, as well as across residential buildings - which is being noted by developers and industry players alike."

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