Weekly Dubai real estate news digest. Issue 8

    Investors on realty spree
Welcome to the eighth 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 8 |  August 25, 2013

Investors on realty spree

When examining the UAE real estate market, it's clear that it has evolved greatly from before the recession. The one area where this is most evident is when it comes to protecting the interests of investors, who can now rely on better regulation as well as have a platform to raise their concerns.

Demand has been increasing steadily in the commercial as well as luxury sector. Le Reve in Dubai Marina has topped the list of most expensive apartment deals once again with two bespoke apartments being sold at Dhs38 million and Dhs23 million respectively. Meanwhile, two apartments sold in Kempinski Palm Jumeirah Residences for Dhs11.01 million and Dhs11 million (and placed fourth and fifth on the list). 

Housing costs are definitely on the rise, so much so that economists predict that this will be a key factor in pushing the consumer price index figures up during the rest of the year. Emirates NBD predicts that UAE inflation will reach 2.5% this year, up from 0.7% last year - the highest since the double-digit levels of 2008.

Most industry professionals, however, are optimistic on how the market is faring. In fact, it is suggested that the emirate might be ready for a new round of big-ticket developments. According to Arabian Business, some of the areas that have potential for new launches include Wafi, Palm Jumeirah and Dubailand. Currently, prices range from $266 million for almost 1 million sq. ft. in Wafi to $39.5 million for 100,000 sq. ft. in Downtown Dubai. 

For investors, the good news is that the UAE is continuing to take steps to protect their interests and ensure cash back on cancelled projects. As the market moves towards greater stability, property conveyancing is also gaining popularity with both buyers and sellers becoming more comfortable with the practice. This helps ensure that the property does not have any financial obligations on it (such as payment outstandings). 


Market Insight is aimed at examining the emirate's dynamic market and forecasting industry trends. We hope that our round-up of stories on some of the buying trends has been helpful in understanding the changing nature of the UAE realty market. Be sure to catch our next issue to know more about new mega-projects that are in the pipeline. 


Pashma Manglani


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Biggest real estate buy in Marina

Le Reve in Dubai Marina continues to top the list of apartment deals recorded by the Dubai Land Department (DLD) for the second consecutive year.

According to data shared by Reidin.com, two bespoke apartments in the tower were sold for Dhs38 million and Dhs23 million respectively, registering the first two biggest real-estate buys in the emirate in Q2, 2013. An apartment sold for Dhs14.55 million in the Emirates Crown Tower was third, while two apartments sold in Kempinski Palm Jumeirah for Dhs11.01 million and Dhs11 million respectively, were placed fourth and fifth on the list.

Of the top 10 biggest transactions, six were registered in Dubai Marina while four were registered in Palm Jumeirah projects.


Read more on Emirates 24/7

Wafi, Palm top spots for new mega-projects

Dubai could be set for another round of big-ticket developments with a host of lucrative plots currently up for sale.

Wafi topped the list of ten locations for Dubai's future mega-projects, followed by Palm Jumeirah, Dubailand and Business Bay. 

An analysis of land listings on the website Dubizzle.com has found plots for sale from $266 million for almost 1 million sq. ft. in Wafi to $39.5 million for 100,000 sq. ft. in Dubai's Downtown district.

Read more on Arabian Business

Mystery Downtown project frenzy

A post on a social networking site by an "unknown developer" launching a new project in Downtown Dubai has led to over 40 real estate brokerage firms scrambling to get details.

A few brokers have even claimed to have investors ready to buy the project off plan.

Though the developer name has not been revealed, the post reads, "We are a developer and we are launching our new development in the Burj Khalifa area next to Southridge. Our tower will be 22 residential floors all with Burj Khalifa views, comprising studio, one, two and three bedroom units."

The developer claims to delivery the project by December 2015 and average selling price per sq. ft. will be Dhs1,550. Currently, prices in under-construction projects in the area start from Dhs1,700 per sq. ft.  


Read more on Emirates 24/7

Conveyancing finds traction in UAE

Pick a freehold property launched between 2004-08 in Dubai at random and chances are that it would've changed hands many a time as flipping was the only game in town.

In today's more settled market, conveyancing - essentially the transfer of legal title of property from one person to another - is getting popular. It helps establish that the property in question does not have any financial obligations on it, such as payment outstandings.

How long does the process take? "This will depend very much on the type of sale taking place - unfinanced buyers and sellers have fewer steps involved in the sale and transfer process," explained Mark William Riggs, general manager, Crompton Partners Estate Agents. Mortgaged and off-plan properties will generally take longer since there are more steps involved, he added.

According to Riggs, most agencies consider using the Dubai Land Department's Registration Trustee service as the best way to go about this since it protects both parties with a legally binding contract. 


Read more on Gulf News

Housing costs drive up inflation

Inflation has been flaring up in the GCC and economists expect that it will continue to do so for the rest of the year, propelled by higher housing costs.

According to Jean-Paul Pigat, economist at Emirates NBD, the region's real estate market recovery is expected to continue apace and the higher housing costs will be a key factor in pushing up the consumer price index. The bank forecasts UAE inflation to reach 2.5% this year, up by 0.7% last year - the highest since the double-digit levels of 2008.

In the UAE, the annual inflation rate reached 1.3% last month, its highest level since July 2011, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics. The rise reflects a recovery in the property market, especially in Dubai, where rents are estimated to have gone up by 30% over the past year as estimated by property broker CBRE. 

Read more on The National

Project cancellation notices now in dailies

Developers in Dubai have started putting project cancellation notices in local dailies, a move that has gained pace after the government set up a committee to liquidate and settle claims on cancelled projects.

The notices being published are as per the regulation set by Dubai's Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), developers claim. Claimants are asked to provide property reservation form, original property agreement, passport copy and original payment receipts.

In the past two weeks, three developers have published project cancellation notices. 

Read more on Emirates 24/7

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