Weekly Dubai real estate news digest. Issue 35

Realty market proves resilient
Welcome to the thirty-fifth issue of Market Insight, your weekly guide to what's happening in the Dubai real estate market.
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MARKET INSIGHT. Weekly guide to Dubai's property scene
Issue 35 |  March 2, 2014

Realty market proves resilient

The UAE's real estate market has been growing exponentially with a surge in demand for property across sectors.

As a result, many of the projects that were stalled in 2008 after the economic recession have picked up again with an increasing number of investors interested in getting involved. At the peak of the downturn, there were an estimated 150 projects that had gone past the initial construction works before their developers wound them down. Since the market has picked up, these numbers are being steadily whittled down. Dubai Land Department's Tanmia programme has played a part in restoring 36 projects with 11,158 units; in the process 6,641 investors now have confirmed units in these.

In addition to restarting existing projects, there has been a rise in the number of new projects in the city. Deyaar Development, for example, said it grew the number of properties it was managing on behalf of landlords by over 10% in the last year. The property developer said it had added 2,600 new homes and offices to its portfolio in 2013.

Meanwhile, Emaar has launched its MBR City project - Mulberry at Park Heights, the first residential apartment complex in Dubai Hills Estate. These include 330 premium apartments. The developer of Dubai Lagoon in Dubai Investment Park has also confirmed funding is in place to expedite the completion of its master development. Dubai Lagoon comprises over 3,800 apartments in 52 low-rise buildings divided into seven zones, retail components and a community-catered shopping mall. 

In fact, demand has gone so high that property developer Nakheel has said it would be charging anyone attending a land auction for plots at Jumeirah Park an entry fee of AED1,000. The firm reported last year that it had completed more than 3,150 new homes and that the amount of cash it had collected from customers nearly doubled from AED3.7 billion in 2012 to AED7.1 billion in 2013 as home buyers made their final payments on projects that had been delayed by the financial crisis. 

Market Insight is aimed at examining the emirate's dynamic market and forecasting industry trends. The year 2014 is bound to bring some serious changes in the property market in the UAE, with new regulations coming up and property owners taking unique steps to cater to the massive demand. We'll be following up on the latest in all things investment-related and ensure that our readers are aware of all aspects of Dubai's success story. 


Pashma Manglani


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House rents continue upward trend 

Rents continue to soar in Dubai month after month since 2013. 

Reidin.com data revealed that rents for residential properties rose by 2.12% month-on-month in January 2014 with rental prices increasing 20.32% year-on-year.

Apartment rents jumped 2.35% month-on-month and 22.56% year-on-year while villa rentals went up by 1.02 monthly and 10.82% yearly.

In its Q4 2013 report, property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle predicted that 28,000 new units would be released in 2014; however, in February, it said that realistically it expected only 20,000 new units to enter the market this year. 


Read more on Emirates 24/7

Stalled projects gain traction

Major reforms are in the offing to streamline the entry of angel investors into stalled projects in Dubai and turn them around.

"There is an existing programme that's been operating under the Dubai Land Department, but the proposed changes could make it easier for investors to come in the way they commit funds in reviving projects," said Samir Munshi, managing director of Orion Holdings. "We believe such discussions are at an advanced stage and would create a robust system that would benefit all stakeholders."

At the peak of the downturn, there were an estimated 150 projects that had gone past the initial construction works before their developers wound them down. Since the market picked up, these numbers are being steadily whittled down. 

Read more on Gulf News

Major revamp planned for Al Nahda area 

Residents of Al Nahda, Dubai have complained about poor infrastructure facilities but a revamp of the community is soon expected to solve these problems.

As the area grew busier, roads started to look smaller, parking facilities fewer and travel time began to take longer and longer. Major improvements are expected to be carried out this year in Al Nahda 1. The Road and Transport Authority has listed Al Nahda 1 as one of the communities where internal infrastructure requires upgrading. The project is set to commence in the last quarter of 2014 and consists of constructing around 20km length of road network and improving existing roads in Al Mamzar and Al Nahda 1.


Read more on Emirates 24/7

Emaar launches MBR City project

Mulberry at Park Heights, the first residential apartment complex in Dubai Hills Estate, has been launched for sale. This is situated in the city of the future, developed by a joint venture of Meraas Holding and Emaar Properties in Mohammed Bin Rashid City (MBR City).

Around 330 premium quality apartments will be on sale at Mulberry at Park Heights, which are set amidst a green verdant landscape and feature common terrace areas where families can meet for a sit-out session. The homes are also close to an 18-hole championship golf course.


Read more on Emirates 24/7

Developer ups foreign ownership cap

Union Properties plans to raise the cap on how much foreign investors can own in the developer to 25% from 15%.

The Dubai-based company is the latest firm in the UAE and Qatar to raise its foreign ownership limit ahead of the upgrade of the two countries to emerging market status b the index provider MSCI in May.

Separately Al Khaliji Commercial Bank in Qatar had approved increasing its foreign ownership limit from 25% to 39%.

A foreign ownership of 25% is considered crucial to inclusion in the MSCI Emerging Market Index. It was announced in June that both countries would be upgraded from frontier market status, a move expected to help entice a wave of foreign capital.

Read more on The National

GCC countries top per capita investment in Dubai property 

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries occupied the top positions in per capita investment in Dubai realty in 2013, according to a Dubai Land Department report.

Qatar topped the list with a per capita investment of AED6.71 million followed by Oman (AED5.77 million), the UAE (AED4.56 million), Saudi Arabia (AED3.71 million), Germany (AED2.37 million) and India (AED2.22 million). According to the same report, international real estate transactions during 2013 exceeded AED114 billion. 

Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, director general, DLD, said: "These figures once again reinforce Dubai's status as a top-notch real estate investment hub in the Gulf and beyond. I foresee even stronger regional demand in 2014."

Read more on Gulf News

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