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Abu Dhabi mortgage firms see positive investor outlook

Abu Dhabi, April 19, 2014

Changing regulations, the removal of rental price caps, and the rising demand are all responsible for Abu Dhabi’s residential rental yields, said an industry expert, adding that lenders were set to benefit from the positive investor sentiment.

Christopher Taylor, CEO of Abu Dhabi Finance, one of UAE’s leading mortgage and finance providers, indicated that his organisation has already started to benefit from the upswing in the UAE capital’s burgeoning property market, experiencing a 10 per cent growth in their loan book for the first quarter of 2014.

“We are starting to see a rapid pick up in the big construction, infrastructure and industrial projects coming on stream as part of the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030,” said Taylor.  “Residential rental yields in Abu Dhabi have increased recently and it’s important that these remain at a sensible level to avoid a surge in short-term speculation and unhealthy levels of inflation.”

According to global real estate services adviser CBRE, residential rentals in Abu Dhabi for the first quarter of 2014 have grown by 10 per cent, while housing units in off-island locations saw higher rent growth at 14 per cent.

It all points to an increasingly attractive market for investors, and one which Abu Dhabi Finance will look to capitalise on as it prepares to play a central role as the Official Mortgage Provider at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, taking place from April 22 to 24 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Abu Dhabi Finance will be joined by four other banks offering competitive mortgage rates and advice at the three day real estate event.

With an increasing number of employment opportunities in government and private sectors in Abu Dhabi, Taylor believes that government policies are now in place to maintain sustained growth, and curb property speculation.

“The Government can cope with rampant speculation and has tools at its disposal to deal with such issues, in particular via the imposition of higher interest rates and lending restrictions,” added Taylor.

“We believe that the Central Bank of the UAE will keep a watchful eye on the markets to prevent a potential property bubble.  Currently the Abu Dhabi residential market is showing annualised price growth of between 5 and 10 per cent which is sustainable, although certain individual developments have shown price inflation upwards of that.”

While the property downturn may still be in the back of developers’ minds, the Abu Dhabi banking sector has had an instrumental role to play in maintaining investor confidence in the UAE capital, as well as ensuring the future sustainability of developments.

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), which will be offering an exclusive mortgage deal at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, believes competition among lenders has resulted in improved service to clients and increasingly better economics for buyers and developers who require financing.

Thomas Longo, Executive Director of Real Estate and Family Conglomerates at NBAD, said: “The banking sector has a vital role to play in the future development of the Abu Dhabi property market, both as a source of capital for corporate and government-related entities that are developers of new product, and as a provider of mortgage financing to retail buyers.

“Given the lessons learned from the most recent downturn, banks and regulators are increasingly vigilant, resulting in enhanced risk measurement including careful analysis of projects and the creditworthiness of borrowers.  This approach can only aid Abu Dhabi towards achieving the development objectives of its 2030 plan in a stable, sustainable fashion.”
Now in its eighth edition, Cityscape Abu Dhabi will welcome more than 120 regional and international exhibitors eager to tap into the renewed investor confidence in Abu Dhabi and across the GCC.

Other exhibitors supporting the UAE capital’s most influential real estate event on an official basis include Strategic Partner Department of Municipal Affairs; Headline and Official VIP Sponsor Ejadah Asset Management Group; and Platinum Sponsor Emirates Steel.

Key highlights this year include the Abu Dhabi Market Overview conference on the opening day (22 April), hosted in collaboration with JLL and supported by Masdar City, where leading experts will debate the way forward for the UAE Capital’s burgeoning property market. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: abu dhabi | Cityscape | Mortgage |

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