Real estate to pick up from next week: Industry expert

The real estate market in Dubai is expected to pick-up again from next week after a slowdown during the last couple of months, according to an 
industry specialist.

The market witnessed slow activity during the second quarter of the year and specially during Ramadan, but growth in house prices is expected after Eid holidays, Memon Investments managing director Mahmood Shaikhani told 
Khaleej Times during an interview.

“At the moment majority of buyers are investors and they have limited capacity to buy. So … [the] end-user will come back to the market in August,” Shaikhani said. The company is handing over a few projects this year and launching new projects in 2014 as well.

Property consultancy Asteco in its second quarter report indicated renewed interest and activity in the third quarter. “We anticipate that post the summer months, there are likely to be several new project announcements that will test demand in the market, giving buyers new opportunities to invest,” John Stevens, managing director, Asteco, said in the report.

The second quarter of this year saw a continuation of the slowdown in Q1 2014 residential sales performance for Dubai with the market witnessing marginal growth, up six per cent and three per cent respectively for apartments and villas in Q2 2014, the report said.

The first half 2014 activity was marked by sector stabilisation and consolidation as the market continued to absorb the rapid growth witnessed in 2013.

Despite slowdown the Dubai Land Department, or DLD, reported that total amount of real estate transactions recorded in the emirate exceeded Dh113 billion for the first six months of 2014. The report revealed that sales accounted for 54 per cent of the total transactions over this period, numbering 22,096 deals worth Dh61.5 billion.

Mortgages comprised 42 per cent of DLD’s dealings over the same timeframe, with a total of 6,922 mortgage transactions worth Dh47.3 billion being conducted. The number of other property transactions was recorded at 1,389 with a total value of more than Dh4.6 billion.

It was very stable and genuine market for the last six months, Shaikhani said, adding: “The market has grown from one and half years to a rapid speed and it’s maintaining the speed now. Most probably there will be brisk buying activity in the next two to three months.”

He appreciated the new regulations by the UAE Central Bank followed by the Dubai Land Department increase in registration fee. The market is stable because of new regulations, he added.

Dubai is a land of opportunities and the Emirate has everything for everyone, he said. The market is meeting requirements of everyone by offering properties at different price point from studio to luxury villas at prime location, he explained.

Talking about hotel apartments, he said: “Hotel apartment are being considered as a goldmine for investors. They know where will be the Dubai market in the next couple of years,” he said. The company is planning to launch five hotel apartment projects in the next five months.

Explaining the popularity of hotel apartments as developers are announcing more hotel apartments compared to the past, he said that it’s because of new regulation, which allows easy conversion of residential plots to hotel apartments. Talking about pricing, he said there is still Dh250-300 square feet rate available in some areas, but things are going up. “I see in another six months it will jump for at least 15 per cent,” he indicated

Exclusive Interview
By Abdul Basit,
Khaleej Times
Published: Aug 30, 2014