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Gulf investors 'flocking back to Dubai'

Dubai, March 5, 2012

More and more GCC nationals are investing in the UAE property market, mainly Dubai, thus replacing the European and the US buyers as its residential sales market turns more secure and transparent, according to a report.

The UAE and especially Dubai is increasingly seen as an oasis of calm within the Mena region with a strong prospect for regional investment, said real estate specialist Cluttons in its latest report.

The Dubai's residential sales market has continued to build on what has been a positive start to 2012 and is increasingly seen as an oasis of calm within the Mena region with a strong prospect for regional investment.

There has been an upward trend of local buyers looking to invest in a property market, which many analysts believe is at the bottom, the report said on the Dubai scenario.

'The Dubai residential real estate market is now more secure and transparent, enticing investment back to the city. Speculation has disappeared and distressed sellers are very few,' the report added.

Since the downturn of 2008, Cluttons has seen a return to property financing by the banks. At that time, nearly 70 per cent of lenders withdrew from this type of finance.

But now 95 per cent of those lenders are back led by Tamweel who returned to mortgage finance in November 2010, the expert pointed out.

In December 2006, the real estate mortgage loans were seen at Dh28.2 million ($7.67 million) which leapt to Dh160.1 million by September 2011, according to Cluttons.

'The main reason for this is not that the buyers are getting into debt, but more and more end users are applying to buy rather than rent,' it added.

According to Cluttons, proactive sellers were now looking to trade up as property prices have fallen in Dubai, and in some cases as much as 60 per cent.

As a result, more serious buyers are once again searching for those exemplary properties, the expert said.

However, Cluttons pointed out that the Dubai market was still plagued by oversupply and with a fragmented market, there was obvious demand in certain areas over others, giving rise to the term “selective stabilisation”.

In some premium locations with only a fixed number of properties on the market, Cluttons said it was already seeing prices increase as a result of a strong interest in potential buyers.

With the emirate’s economy expecting to grow by 4.5 per cent in 2012, up from an estimated increase of 3 per cent, according to Sheikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee – Confidence is high for overall real estate growth.

Transactional activity can be found at the Dubai Land Department where the number of sales during the fourth quarter of 2011 reached 2,605 compared to 1,589 in the third quarter, the report said. This represents an increase of 64 per cent quarter on quarter, it added.

According to Cluttons, this trend is definitely, continuing and is evident to brokers on the completion of transfers.

Mario Volpi, the head of Sales & Leasing for Cluttons said, 'Dubai has definitely learnt lessons from the past, and as such more and more transparent legislation is being passed at government or federal level, which can only improve the prospects of buyers and sellers alike.'

'It is still a buyer’s market, since the global recession, however now with the return of accessible financing, sellers are now enjoying a high number of buyers in the market, therefore experiencing quicker sales,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Dubai | Gulf | property | Cluttons | investors | market | residential | Oasis | secure | flock | transparent |

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