Abu Dhabi’s Metropolitan Capital Real Estate sales surge 130% to AED 3 billion in 2023

Evgeny Ratskevich, CEO of Metropolitan Capital.

Metropolitan Capital Real Estate, a leading full-service real estate agency and part of the Metropolitan Group, achieved impressive growth in 2023, more than doubling its sales transactions to AED 3B, a 130% increase compared to 2022 (AED 1.3B).

This reflected the impressive growth of the Abu Dhabi market, which saw transactions and sales value more than double to 13,000 transactions and AED 44 billion, respectively. This surge is attributed to a significant increase in both off-plan (AED 35B) and secondary market (AED 9B) transactions.

In the first quarter of this year, MCRE continued its impressive performance, closing sales worth AED 1.6 billion compared to AED 1.1 billion in the same period last year – a 45% increase.

Reaffirming its market-leading position, the company has also seen its market share increase to over 12% in Q1 this year (excluding freehold areas and institutional sales), up from 10.5% last year.

The brokerage has also witnessed an increase in its average transaction value, rising to AED 4.7M in Q1 this year from AED 3.3M in 2023, compared to the overall market average of AED 3.28M. Off-plan sales average nearly doubled in Q1 this year to AED 6.1M from AED 3.8M driven by some high ticket project launches, while secondary sales increased from AED 2.9M in 2023 to AED 3.2M in 2024.

Evgeny Ratskevich, CEO of Metropolitan Capital Real Estate, said: “MCRE’s growth can be attributed to the rising demand for villas, increased project launches and a diversified investor base. We saw a lot of new independent developers enter the market and decide to do their first project in Abu Dhabi as there are more plots available and prices are quite attractive compared to other premium locations in the UAE.  The diversification of investor demographics in the Capital is a strong indicator of the market’s appeal. We’re witnessing growing interest from a wider range of nationalities, alongside established investors, demonstrating confidence in the emirate’s long-term potential.”

According to MCRE, the Abu Dhabi market witnessed a significant shift in investor demographics in 2023. While Russian and CIS investors were initially prominent, their interest waned in Q2, paving the way for a surge from UK and Chinese investors. Additionally, MCRE saw increased interest from diverse nationalities like Cypriots and Jordanians, complementing established investors from India, Germany, Austria and Western Europe. This trend is expected to continue in 2024, with buyers from India, Pakistan, Iran, other GCC countries and Eastern and Western Europe joining the ranks of key investors.

Mr. Ratskevich said there is limited availability of ready villas in the capital, with only 900 delivered in 2023 compared to 4,600 apartments. However, the situation is expected to improve slightly with 2,500+ villas and 4,000-4,500 apartments slated for handover in 2024.

The shortage in ready villas has boosted the secondary market, which is projected to see an average price growth of 7-8% this year. The off-plan market is also expected to grow, driven by a rise in new project launches from international developers who acquired land in 2023. Additionally, at least 3-4 new developers from Dubai and other emirates are anticipated to enter the Abu Dhabi market, solidifying the emirate’s position as a developer hotspot.

Mr. Ratskevich expects the market to maintain its momentum, potentially reaching AED 65-76B in sales this year, representing an approximately 70% year-on-year increase.

The Metropolitan Group in the UAE includes two full-service real estate agencies: Metropolitan Premium Properties (Dubai) and Metropolitan Capital Real Estate LLC (Abu Dhabi). The group also has Metropolitan Consulting FZE, a supporting company that provides personal and business legal services in the UAE.

Evgeny Ratskevich, CEO of Metropolitan Capital.
Evgeny Ratskevich, CEO of Metropolitan Capital Real Estate.