The pandemic outbreak and the ensuing lockdown have started to influence lifestyle changes and real estate preferences, with buyers increasingly looking for spacious apartments or detached houses with gardens.
The trend is most discernible in cosmopolitan cities across the world, in particular Dubai, say property experts. Even as more businesses are now functioning out of home-based offices due to self-isolation guidelines, home hunters are looking for large apartments with an extra room to serve as a home office.
Research and data from Property Finder said the trend for spacious dwelling units gaining traction after the lockdown. There is an increase in searches for properties with outside space such as gardens, balconies and pools - a clear indication that people are now valuing personal, outside space in their home life.
In the UAE, upscale residential, hospitality and commercial property developer Seven Tides has reported a surge in demand for its two and three-bedroom apartments at its Seven Palm development on Palm Jumeirah.
Abdulla bin Sulayem, CEO of Seven Tides, said that the lockdown experience has made many residents re-evaluate exactly what they want from a living space, whether that is for a short leisure break or a longer-term residential lease, especially those with small children.
According to property analysts, while micro-apartments were supposed to be the wave of the future, with the outbreak of Covid-19 city dwellers, who have been cooped up in one or two rooms, will be increasingly looking to spread out.
"Indeed, the craving for larger apartments is coming back into style and many will be looking to size up - whether sizing up in square footage, light, outdoor space, view, or amenities," said A. Najeeb a real estate consultant.
"Obviously, for those who can afford, townhouse living is more preferable than even large apartments because you don't have the same issues you have in an apartment building such as sharing an elevator, not having access to your gym, and you have private outdoor space," he said.
Balconies, terraces and private roof decks are becoming sought-after amenities for prospective buyers, and in the coming months such properties will become more in demand among UAE buyers.
The Seven Tides CEO said Seven Palm should tick all of the boxes to match this trend, with spacious layouts complemented by floor-to-ceiling windows which maximize natural light and additional balcony space of up to 150sqft, not to mention spectacular views.
"Add to that a host of amenities, including a rooftop swimming pool, fully equipped gymnasium, beach access, lush landscaped gardens and an array of restaurants," Sulayem said.
He said to encourage potential investors that fit this profile, Seven Tides has decided to launch a special summer promotion, specifically for its two and three-bedroom apartments, for which buyers can save up to as much as Dh 177,000, which is valid until the end of August. More than 43 different nationalities have invested in the property over the past seven months with Central Asians accounting for 32 per cent of sales, Europeans 27 per cent, Russians 17 per cent and Arab nationals 11 per cent.