Capital values and rents in Dubai are forecast to continue to soften next year but at a slower rate, according to research by ValuStrat.

The consultancy said in a new report that the city will see increasingly affordable rents in 2020, particularly for townhouses and small villas.

It added that rentals and capital values for prime office space located in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Downtown Dubai will likely remain stable in 2020, bucking the trend of lower rents at secondary locations in the city.

The forecast was part of  latest research which showed that property prices in Dubai were down 10.7 percent on average on an annual basis in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Its ValuStrat Price Index (VPI) for residential  properties displayed an average monthly decline of 0.8 percent compared to November.

This downward trend resulted in a 33.3 percent citywide capital value loss since the peaks of mid-2014.

The residential rental VPI in Dubai stood at 70.8 points, declining 29.2 percent since 2014, down 3.8 percent quarterly and 9.1 percent annually.

The report noted that Dubai’s net yields averaged 5.9 percent, with apartments at 6.1 percent and villas at 4.9 percent.

It added that, excluding December sales, there were 5,473 off-plan transactions in Q4 with 2,674 ready home cash sales worth a total of AED12.9 billion, up 2.9 percent on a quarterly basis.

Overall cash sales volumes for 2019, both off-plan and ready homes, were already more than 25 percent higher than the previous year, ValuStrat said.

Its report added: “A more positive market sentiment is expected due to direct and indirect drivers impacting tourism, business and the overall economy as Expo 2020 kicks off during the fourth quarter… 300,000 jobs are likely to be created due to Expo 2020.”