Residential prices to stabilise on long-term buying

Residential real estate prices are likely to stabilise in 2010, with buyers investing for the long term, according to property agents.

“Prices across villas and apartments will stabilise in 2010. Moreover, buyers investing in residences in Dubai will enter on a long-term basis, indicating a less speculative interest in the emirate,” said Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director of Harbor Real Estate.

However, challenges to the real estate sector continue to remain. Alwadiya said: “While mortgage financing is easing, it is still limited in availability. Banks are lending but only to people with certain fixed profiles and according to rigid criteria. For example, people working in the real estate sector find it hard to source funding because of the risk associated to their job. Also, infrastructure in many developments needs to keep pace with the progress of the development.”

Vineet Kumar, Head of Sales at Asteco, said: “The buying trend has been towards ready properties, and mortgage finance is available for most projects from leading mortgage providers. Interest rates are in the range of 6.5 per cent to 10 per cent. Occupancy levels in developments handed over are generally in excess of 70 per cent. Locations such as Dubai Marina and Downtown Burj Dubai are being preferred by young families, while larger families have a preference for large villas in locations such as Emirates Hills and Jumeirah Islands.”

Just ahead of the new year, Emirates Business picked 12 residential projects in Dubai that received interest from potential property owners and tenants in the past 12 months. Some of these projects saw increased sales and rental transactions while some projects, such as Burj Dubai by Emaar Properties and the Villa Project in Dubailand by Al Mazaya Real Estate, are gathering a lot of interest just ahead of their handover.

Other major factors noted have been population shifts from other emirates and other developments in Dubai’s Discovery Gardens and International City projects.

“The reason for this is the attractive rental prices within these developments. In fact, recently, large corporates have looked to lease multiple units for their mid-level staff in International City,” said Alwadiya.

“The Motor City development, too, has witnessed an increase in occupancy rates from end-users and tenants seeking affordable and value-for-money residential units. Influx of people from neighbouring emirates, such as Sharjah, Ajman and Abu Dhabi, has further fuelled growth in occupancy rates within the development.”

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