‘Dubai’s real es­tate mar­ket is ma­tur­ing just fine’

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Pa­trick Ryan @ThatPad­dyRyan pa­trick@7days.ae

Dubai’s strength­en­ing prop­erty mar­ket, the strug­gle for fam­i­lies to se­cure a home de­posit and a new ‘down­town for the desert’ were among the buzz­words on the lips of del­e­gates at the sec­ond day of Cityscape Global.

The gen­eral sen­ti­ment among in­dus­try fig­ures was that aside from past down­turns and a drop in oil prices, the emi­rate’s prop­erty sec­tor is gain­ing the con­fi­dence of po­ten­tial buy­ers.

One ex­ec­u­tive likened it to a ‘10-year-old boy’ grad­u­ally find­ing his feet after a re­birth from the mar­ket crash of 2008.

The com­ments came after a se­ries of sur­veys this week that found ex­pats in­tend to stay in the UAE longer and are look­ing to buy.

One poll, from global bro­ker Core Sav­ills, re­ported a “surge” in in­ter­est from ex­ist­ing tenants with a “grow­ing ap­petite to own”.

And Saleh Tabakh, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of de­vel­oper, Tan­miyat, said con­fi­dence is grow­ing.

He said: “The mar­ket after the crash of 2008 is still young, but it’s just like a lit­tle boy - the older it gets, the more per­son­al­ity it de­vel­ops.

“Since the free­hold law was brought into place around ten years ago, you have seen cer­tain types be­ing at­tracted to the mar­ket.

“It used to be that it was only in­vestors that were at­tracted to the mar­ket.

“Now you see end-users [that want to buy and live in a prop­erty] be­ing at­tracted, which wasn’t the case be­fore and it isn’t just about lux­ury any­more.”

He added: “It’s bet­ter to have it like this than have a lux­ury mar­ket that booms so fast. It is more sus­tain­able, you don’t get such sud­den drops any­more.”

Zaeed El Chaar, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of DA­MAC, told 7DAYS that if the mar­ket wasn’t on the up, he wouldn’t have 10 projects in progress at the same time. He said: “If the mar­ket was slow why would we go as far as hav­ing 10 projects, why wouldn’t we just have one or two?”

CEO of Core Sav­ills, David God­chaux, said more res­i­dents would buy if the min­i­mum mort­gage de­posit was lower. It is cur­rently 40 per cent, as stip­u­lated by the cen­tral bank.

His firm’s sur­vey of 800 peo­ple re­leased yes­ter­day found 51 per cent plan to buy in Dubai in the fu­ture. It also found 71 per cent backed banks eas­ing lend­ing - even if that meant the re­turn of spec­u­la­tive buy­ers, which could drive pur­chase and rent prices up.

God­chaux said: “There is a ma­jor seg­ment of tenants who are be­ing kept away from own­er­ship by the cur­rent reg­u­la­tions. “This re­in­states the fact that there is a strong un­der­ly­ing de­mand of cur­rent tenants who are con­sid­er­ing a move to own­er­ship if the reg­u­la­tions are re­laxed.”

The same sur­vey found 16 per cent be­lieved Dubai­land was the area least likely to re­tain value in the long term, just ahead of Dubai South.

The area most likely to see long-term growth is Dubai Ma­rina, 18 per cent of those polled, said.

A sep­a­rate ques­tion in the same sur­vey found the Dubai Wa­ter Canal (pic­tured top) is the area that will shape the fu­ture of the city the most.

The sur­vey showed 44 per cent of re­spon­dents felt the canal was the most ex­cit­ing project in the city, with Dubai South, near the Expo site, com­ing in sec­ond place with 20 per cent.

Aside from talk of prop­erty prices yes­ter­day, some in­dus­try fig­ures be­lieve Dubai could see a new ‘down­town in the desert’ in the near fu­ture.

Tabakh, from Tan­miyat, said: “When you look at the new IMG Worlds and the fact that the Mall Of The World project has moved there too, you could be look­ing at this area be­com­ing the new down­town of Dubai.”

It’s not about lux­ury any­more... it’s much more sus­tain­able – Tan­miyat di­rec­tor Saleh Tabekh

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