Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dubai real estate transactions up 25pc in Q1

The Dubai property sector has witnessed solid growth in the first quarter with about 25 per cent increase in overall transactional activity in the real estate sector during the period, said Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, the director general of the Dubai Land Department (DLD).

He was speaking at the first Ramadan Real Estate Majlis hosted by International Property Show (IPS), a major property sales platform in the Middle East, where major developers from across the UAE came for an exclusive Suhoor Networking Night.

The event took place in Armani Hotel, Downtown Dubai and was organised in collaboration with DLD under the theme: “Upgrading Real Estate Sector & Investment Promotion.”

Emphasising Dubai’s position as a safe haven for investors, Bin Mejren said: "We continue our efforts to spur development by providing a sustainable real estate environment that will attract investor confidence in the market."

Dawood Al Shezawi, the chief executive of IPS, said: "This gathering opens doors for a meeting of minds, and is a way to enhance the relationship of government and private sector to improve the real estate market. It is beneficial to deliberate on issues that affect the property market in order to have a better understanding of challenges at hand and come up with probable solutions."

An open dialogue facilitated by Dr Hiba Jaber, consultant at Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI), offered the gathering an opportunity to network and discuss several issues affecting the real estate sector.

These include lower oil prices, a strong dollar-pegged local currency, banks policies on money transfers, reconsidering the mortgage cap set by the UAE Central Bank, possible effects of VAT in 2018, balancing supply and demand, incentives to investors, and affordability of housing for end-users.

Ahmad Thani Al Matrooshi, Emaar Properties' managing director, emphasised the importance of working together in order to upgrade the real estate sector.

“We have a strong appeal to international investors.  As developers, we can do the marketing but we need the continuous support of DLD and banks in completing transactions getting the money abroad,” he stated.

On controlling supply and demand in an effort to improve the market, Masood Al Awar, the chief commercial officer at Dubai Properties, said: "About 80 per cent of the demand will come from the international market. However, as of today, not even 50 per cent come from it which means that we still have a huge market to conquer and investors to attract moving towards 2020."

"So I think all developers will have enough demand for the supply they will put into the market," he added.

“Indeed, it is important to have coordination between different stakeholders to control oversupply. We all have to work together hand in hand, in order to make sure that this market stays in good condition,” added Essam Hasan Saleh, Jumeirah Golf Estates' executive director for business development and property management.

Marwan Bin Ghalaita, the CEO of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) said: “With the rapid growth of Dubai as a global commercial hub and tourism destination, increasing population, more job opportunities, continuous interest of foreign investors, oversupply is not a problem because demand is there and is continuously growing.”

The participants in the Majlis reached the consensus that different stakeholders must come together to motivate and upgrade the real estate sector.

There were suggestions for developers to adapt more to market needs by extending payment plans and providing more affordable housing, as well as for government to provide more incentives to investors both locally and internationally, banks to ease up their policies, and investment promotion authorities to help attract international investment in the real estate sector.

Furthermore, Bin Ghalaita assured the gathering that the real estate market in Dubai was in a healthy position and ideal for real estate investments.

“DLD has put regulations in place, facilitates ease in transactions and accommodates all kinds of investments, so we are doing our part and so must everyone else,” he noted.

Bin Mejren said the forum was a good platform for knowledge-sharing, exchange of views and in-depth discussion on concerns facing real estate developers, sellers, and buyers.

"We hope that this is the first of several events to be held regularly to facilitate more understanding and cooperation among the real estate community in order to upgrade the property sector and attract investors and developers in Dubai," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

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