Ask the Agent

By Mohanad Alwadiya
Published: Gulfnews
Dated: November, 2016

Can you please share some details on how rental increases are determined
in Dubai?

Initially, your landlord needs to give you the notice of increase at least 90 days prior to the expiration of your current contract. You should familiarise yourself with Law No. 43 which
introduced the following restrictions (summarised) with regard to legally allowable rental increases:
• There should not be any rent increase if the rent for the real estate unit is no more than 10% below the average rent that a similar property commands within a neighbourhood
• The annual rent increases can range from 5 up to 20 per cent according to how much the current rent is less than the market average
• The market average rates are to be determined by the RERA rental index

The implementation of Law No. 43 is necessary to safeguard consumer interest, the overall industry and the economy at large from rampant and unjustifiable rental increases on existing rental contracts.

Is there a state of oversupply in Dubai real estate? How does one know for sure?

It depends on an accurate estimation of construction timelines which are invariably fluid, and the demand for real estate assets due to Dubai’s growing population that is largely driven by overall economic growth going forward. In addition, it needs to comprehend a lag effect from the time that conditions conducive to development are identified by developers and when properties are finally released onto the market.

Given that the economy of the emirate of Dubai is expected to grow at an estimated 5+ per cent annually for the remainder of the decade, and initiatives such as the Expo 2020 are expected to generate an additional 270,000 jobs, the demand for housing and commercial
facilities is expected to grow significantly. Much of the city’s planning comprehends the number of people living in the emirate to grow to 3.4 million by 2020, a 7 per cent annual increase from today’s population of 2.25 million.

How is the Dubai real estate market? Is now the best time to buy, or should I wait for prices to fall further?

The real estate market is an industry full of surprises. The Dubai market has been correcting for several months and is picking up again, as the next five years
are expected to see a strong economic growth in Dubai. My recommendation is for you to start your property search immediately in the places you like as proper due diligence can take time. If you have the cash, we suggest you pay for it outright; however, don’t be afraid to take out a mortgage with varied easy payment plans that will save you considerable amounts of money.The location, surrounding infrastructure, construction quality and developer reputation as well as building amenities or properties close to an iconic development, such as Downtown Dubai or those with close access to the Dubai Metro or Tram usually provide good returns. Finally, be purposeful, persistent, patient and pragmatic, and you are well on the way to making a very sound business decision.

I have just joined the market as a property investor. Can you please help me in determining an optimal rental rate to attract my first tenant?

The simplest way to determine a good rental rate for your property is the sales comparison approach (SCA) which relies on identifying a factor that is homogenous to similar properties. For example, an apartment similar to your planned investment which attracts a monthly rental rate of Dh7 per square foot can indicate the likely cash flow you expect; however, as property managers, we do not advocate this approach.A more comprehensive method is the capital asset pricing model (CAPM) which comprehends levels of risk and opportunity cost as it applies to your investment. It identifies your potential return on investment derived from capital appreciation in addition to net rental income and compares it to other investments that you may be considering. This enables smarter investment decisions and, therefore, is the one that we use as standard procedure.

Question of the Week

I have heard some realtors use certain terms like “GFA,” “BUA” and “NFA.” As an investor, I am left in the dark. What do these terms mean?

Like any industry jargon, there are quite a few confusing acronyms used in real estate but those that you have highlighted relate to the actual dimensions of the property you are buying or leasing. For this reason alone, it is imperative that you understand them and their significance.

The gross floor area (GFA) is the total floor area of a building including any underground saleable or leasable area (such as basement shops), but excluding parking and underground technical areas. Any building used as some form of supporting service plant is excluded from the GFA.

Meanwhile, the built-up area (BUA) is the total area being developed or constructed. It is the gross floor area plus parking plus any service area associated with the subject building or project.

The net floor area (NFA), on the other hand, is the GFA minus the facade of the building (measured from the centre line of glass), plant areas, service risers, building structural core, fire stairs, lifts and lift lobbies, common corridors and common toilets. The individual measurements are used for separate reasons, ranging from purchasing a
building and calculating potential revenues to be derived from selling or leasing a building to estimating cleaning costs.

Meet Dubai’s own Wolf of Real Estate

By:Binesh Panicker
Published: Property Times
Date: 28 August 2016

Mohanad  Alwadiya is a well-known name in the Dubai real estate market, and he wears many hats. Apart from his professional obligations as the CEO of Harbor Real Estate, he also finds time to contribute to the betterment of the market as Senior Advisor & Instructor at the Dubai Real Estate Institute. He is already a raging hit on social media, not an easy task for someone
from real estate.

Tell us about Memaar. How did the concept take off?
Having a primetime property reality TV show in the Middle East has been a long time coming – whether you’re in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar – practically anywhere in the Middle East, there’s always a new tower, a unique residential project or a new iconic building being launched or unveiled. So MEMAAR simply had to be.

MEMAAR is the brainchild of the Dubai Channels Network (DCN), and we officially went on air for Season 1 in May 2015. We already have a solid audience following comprising millions of viewers from all across the GCC and beyond. When it comes to our guests, we always select real clients from different backgrounds and objectives in order to offer various enriching perspectives.

The show’s objective is to educate, entertain and engage viewers with the real estate sector. I’m overwhelmed with the amount of positive feedback that I receive on a daily basis from viewers from all over the world praising the show and seeking my advice. The show is now broadcasted weekly on Dubai TV every Wednesday at 7pm, Sama Dubai TV every Sunday at 9pm and Dubai One TV (with English subtitles) every Monday at 8pm with multiple repeats on all the 3 channels.

What are the future plans for the show?
After the tremendous success of the first and second seasons, we’re going full-blast on a multimedia level. We have a lot more in store for our ever-growing number of loyal fans.
We are currently shooting for Season 3, with 16 new exciting guests and episodes. The show started broadcasting on Dubai One TV with English subtitles and will continue to run on Dubai TV and Sama Dubai TV. Of course, we want to keep growing and developing, always mindful of the feedback we are getting from our MEMAAR fan base.

You are popularly known as “The Wolf of Real Estate,” which made you a huge hit in social media. Tell us more about your social media presence and its effect.

Thanks to Property Times back in 2014, I got the “Wolf of Real Estate” title given to me which has proven to be a very interesting and strategic form of branding for myself which I have, yes, fully embraced – that is, minus the negative connotation associated with the more famous moniker for Jordan Belfort – “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

However, I believe the moniker emanated from the work of our company, Harbor Real Estate, having been previously referred to as a star that emerged from the last GFC. Beyond having simply survived, it was during the GFC that Harbor Real Estate, in the face of a level of adversity that the industry had never witnessed before, really grew as a real estate enterprise of significant capability and standing in the industry.

In terms of my current social media presence, I do have more than 1,300,000 followers on my public Facebook pages, almost 40,000 followers on my “The Wolf of Real Estate Official” Instagram account, and 515,000 followers on my “Mohanad Alwadiya” official Instagram account. On Twitter, I have a little over 50,000 followers on Snapchat and over 10,000 connections on LinkedIn.
I get all sorts of positive and encouraging comments and messages on different social media platforms, such as those expressing their gratitude for the information and analysis I provide on the TV show, articles I write or social media posts. I also receive a lot of messages from followers asking for my opinion about certain issues or real estate advice. As for the unusual ones and even those which appear negative, I usually just take them with a grain of salt and try to respond positively. In general, I try to answer all the messages I receive as much as I can because I really enjoy the interaction with all my followers, and this allows me to stay in touch with the market and gauge the impact of the various activities I’m involved in.

The response from people via social media has been overwhelming and I am still trying to get used to being referred to as some sort of celebrity in my own right because, frankly, I don’t consider myself a celebrity… just the facilitator of the reality TV show MEMAAR… just doing my job!

What is your ultimate dream?
Well, there’s a lot of things on my mind, and so much that I wish to do! However, the realities imposed by time makes careful prioritization essential.
I’m currently working on a portfolio of development projects and initiatives. Harbor Real Estate continues to expand and is continually developing the capability to provide industry leading service. I call this the “never-ending initiative” as every individual or organization can always improve regardless of past achievements.

From a business growth perspective, there is plenty to be excited about. We have several new projects and unique services that will be launched very soon and we are looking forward to Cityscape to allow us to share these with investors and aspiring homeowners.

Meanwhile, I am also at the final stages of publishing my first bilingual property management book and will be working closely with the Dubai Real Estate Institute on introducing an advanced version of the certification property management course.

There are many other ideas and initiatives that I wish to develop after 2016. I still believe our industry can benefit and better serve our customers by adopting and applying technologies in the areas of product development and communications. The world has become a global marketplace but I still believe that global capital flows in our industry are still hindered somewhat because we do not do a good enough job of putting enough global investors in a position of confidence and certainty. There remains a lot of potential in this space I believe.

Then of course, there’s MEMAAR. As mentioned earlier, we’re all working together and collaborating on how we can keep the show growing and developing, so it only gets better every season.

What is your take on the next few months for Dubai market? There is a general feeling of positivity among agents. What is the reality?
Everyone knows that Dubai real estate has been undergoing correction for quite some time now. We feel that the decline in values associated with that correction has halted or virtually halted in all market segments, or that the market is bottoming out. In Q1 of 2016, we have already witnessed significant growth in investor activity and strong land sales. Both are leading indicators that the market is heading into its next cyclical phase. We at Harbor believe that by the end of 2016, the market will have entered its next phase of growth which is expected to accelerate as we draw ever closer to the Dubai World Expo in 2020.

PROFESSIONALIZING THE REAL ESTATE PRACTICE

By Mohanad Alwadiya
CEO, Harbor Real Estate
Senior Advisor & Instructor, Dubai Real Estate Institute
Published by: Property Time Magzine

During the years marking the last global economic recession, reports on fraudulent business practices and shady dealings in real estate became quite rampant, and people (investors and end-users) realized that those who fail to practice due diligence have nothing to gain in a relatively new and still-emerging albeit rapidly growing property market.

Now, even as the UAE economy as a whole continues to lag from its earlier predicted level of activity, the real estate industry, in spite of the industry-wide slowdown, continues to earn its share of winners and non-gainers in terms of current industry practice.

Some individuals still manage to pose as agents or real estate representatives, produce fake documents, and get away with the money virtually scot-free. And while the government has put in place strict protocols whether it be in professionalizing industry practices or instituting new policies and regulations to guard the best interests of the market, there are still a few unscrupulous individuals who manage to prey on buyers, even tenants.

The term “business ethics” is not something alien or new to us, but some people with careers outside of the real estate realm may view the term with a heavily critical eye, with some perhaps even joking about the incompatible nature of the words “business” and “ethics.”

But we all know that in real estate, a number of professions emerge including, but not limited to: commercial or residential brokerage, appraisal/valuation, property management, real estate counselling, etc. That being said, for a job to be considered a bona fide profession, it would require some commitment to a certain standard of conduct that the general public expects from the practitioner. This is where the real estate code of ethics comes in.

However, some might say: but anyone can become a realtor, so how does this seemingly “open” industry professionalize current practice and regulate the activities of real estate practitioners? What rules or structures are in place to prevent any form of abuse and/or malpractice in an industry where sometimes morally contradictory relationships or grey areas exist such as in the case of open market listings where one seller lists with various agents, and the big question is where would the realtor’s loyalty be – with the seller or the buyer? Or in the case of valuation assignments where the client may indirectly or even expressly makes known to the appraiser the outcome they are expecting.

Another dilemma confronting realtors is their reliance on commission-based remuneration whereby agents’ dependence on said commission may run counter to the best interests of the client. While a good commission structure would evidently motivate realtors to give their best efforts in order to successfully convert a lead and close a deal, the question of whether or not conditions set are for or against the best interests of their client remains – with yes being the answer in some cases, and at other times not so especially in cases of self-dealing in real estate.

Aside from By-law No. 85 “Regulating the Real Estate Brokers Register in the Emirate of Dubai” which expressly states the legal mandate governing the real estate practice, the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) and the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI) established a mandatory certification program for new and experienced agents who wish to work in a real estate brokerage in Dubai. The DREI also organizes license renewal courses and exams along with a very rich variety of career development programs intended to help elevate the standards of professionalism and effectiveness of brokers in Dubai.

All realtors are, therefore, expected to abide by local laws pertaining to the real estate practice as well as to government regulations that are periodically introduced and, at times, go through a series of revisions or reforms in order to address new issues or problems that crop up every once in a while.

But even in the face of such regulation, real estate firms must also take it upon themselves to continuously educate and empower their agents to make the best decisions in order to maintain individual and corporate integrity, professionalism and, ultimately, success in the real estate business.

Investing in training, whether in-house or otherwise, definitely pays a huge dividend. Extensive and tailor-made training programs should include education on the industry and pertinent rules/regulations (especially on current or new legislation), soft skills and specialized training courses that help employees attain a level of mastery in all the macro and micro aspects of their profession.

The ongoing development of the industry’s regulatory framework and implementation of laws and regulations to safeguard both consumer and investor interests, the overall industry and the economy at large from rampant and irresponsible speculative, predatory or unethical practices, all reveal a mature and balanced approach to shaping an industry which exhibits sustainable growth over the long term.

Taken altogether, the laws of the land serve as the primary push for realtors to act in a way that upholds and reflects the greater good while constant education through training, workshops, seminars and the like (whether mandatory or voluntary) help real estate practitioners internalize the values that must inherently pervade the system for the industry to thrive and continue to serve as one of the primary sectors supporting the UAE economy.

The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) and the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI) have set a mandatory certification program for new and experienced agents who wish to work in a real estate brokerage in Dubai. The Dubai Real Estate Institute also organizes license renewal courses and exams along with a very rich variety of career development programs designed to help elevate the standards of professionalism and effectiveness of brokers in Dubai.

Expert Eye

Purchasing a home? Plan carefully

Eliminate any surprises by conducting careful planning and due diligence

There is no doubt that the Dubai real estate market presents some fantastic opportunities for both investors and first-time home buyers. For the latter, there is no better time to take advantage of the value that is currently on offer and start to build a solid financial future.

However, just because the market is currently strongly in favor of buyers doesn’t mean that careful planning and due diligence should not be adhered to. There is never a market scenario which demands hasty decisions; the markets will always demand and reward timely decisions. This is an important distinction to make as taking shortcuts in preparation and planning, particularly in financial planning, is a common shortcoming of investors and home buyers who are keen to take advantage of the varied opportunities.

One area that is often overlooked is the many additional costs “of buying, owning and occupying a home. Many first-time home buyers tend to only focus on the purchase price and mortgage costs and forget that there are other costs to be considered.

Assuming you have con ducted a thorough search and have identified the property that you would like to buy, your negotiated buying price will be subject to a 4% property registration fee at the Dubai Land Department (DLD). You may be taking advantage of some recent payment plans whereby the transfer of ownership and registration fees are deferred until all payments are satisfied; regardless, it is a cost that you need to cover eventually. There will also be a charge of .25 % of the value of any mortgage payable at the-time of registration.

Speaking of mortgages, most lenders require property insurance and you would, in all likelihood, wish to insure your belongings. This is in addition to the loan protection insurance that you need to take out as a prerequisite to finalizing your mortgage so that your spouse and children are protected from having to pay down the mortgage if you should pass away prematurely. You may also consider other forms of insurance covering disability and terminal illness.

Every building or community requires maintenance and operational management. So, you need to understand what fees you will pay to those who will provide the services that make your new home a secure place to live. Fees can vary depending on your location or the development you are part of, so ascertain what you will pay before you sign the purchase agreement.

 Then there are the costs of actually occupying your home. It starts with paying deposits to set up utility accounts followed by monthly utility bills for electricity, gas and water, as well as Pay TV, telephone and Internet services.

Then there are the moving costs. If you are a single or a young couple, you may be able to handle this yourself. For some families, moving may require renting a truck or hiring a moving company.

 Of course, you need to consider the additional new furniture or decorative items you need to buy so that your new home lives up to the vision that inspired you to buy it in the first place.

If you have purchased a new villa, you will want to do some landscaping. This may include the addition or modification of outside entertainment areas such as patios or BBQ areas, design or redesign of plants, trees, shrubs and pathways along with the establishment of a healthy and robust lawn. Play equipment for children may need to be purchased along with additional items such as security systems, fencing or exterior lighting.

Thus, planning a home purchase entails more than just figuring out what your mortgage payments may be. With careful planning, you can eliminate any surprises with your next purchase.

Ask the agent

Can you explain the term capitalization rate?

Capitalisation rate (cap rate) is the rate of return on a real estate property based on the income that the property is expected to generate. It is used to estimate the investor’s potential return on investment. It maybe calculated by dividing the investment’s net operating income (NOI) by the current market value, where NOI is the total revenue derived from renting or leasing the property minus all operating costs. Put simply, the cap rate = NOl current market value. Given that the capital values for Dubai properties have shown greater volatility than the income being derived, the NOI being generated from the property at today’s value needs to be looked into. This allows us to see whether the property’s performance is improving or declining by referring to the cap rate. If the cap rate is declining, this leads us to conclude that selling the property would generate greater income.

Where do you think the best investment opportunities are in the Dubai real estate market?

Definitely in the affordable segment of the market!

We are encouraging clients to invest in this important segment as there are some great opportunities and the demand for affordable housing is likely to continue increasing as Dubai heads towards the Expo 2020. There are many affordable developments that have been sprouting in Dubailand and other parts of the city, especially in the outskirts. They are strategically located, with easy access to major road networks like the Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, thus residents enjoy fast transit times to most of Dubai’s popular areas. The demand for this type of affordable accommodation will continue to grow. invest in apartments and retain ownership for atleast five years to gain superior capital growth and enjoy healthy net annual rental return in the meantime.

Do you think the property prices will fall further in this current cycle? If so, would now be a good time to sell?

The fact that the property industry is notoriously cyclical is widely known yet viewed differently. Investors with a clear strategy and long-term plan simply accept, foresee and plan for cycles in the industry. They look for longer—term sustainable growth rather than take additional risk by trying to accumulate wealth by taking advantage of shorter-term spikes or dips. Investing in property has a very simple purpose: to create wealth over the long term. However, your portfolio needs to be nurtured, maintained and managed to ensure its wealth-creating potential is achieved as it rides the inevitable cycles that occur in the industry. Adopting a short-term vision and reacting unreasonably to inevitable industry slowdowns will lead to underperformance in the longer term. Consider engaging a good property manager who will ensure that you maximize returns.

I plan to purchase our first family home. What are the factors to consider when getting a mortgage?

There are a number of considerations that you need to factor into your plan of buying a home. One of these is getting a mortgage. Generally speaking, you are much better off financially in applying your hard-earned money towards building equity, but keep in mind that mortgage payments can be subject to fluctuations as interest rates rise. Not all mortgages are the same. Try and have the mortgage establishment fees waived. Depending on the institution, this may save you up to Dh3,000. Also request that you are not penalized for paying the mortgage down faster or in its entirety. By law, the mortgage provider cannot charge you more than 1% of the outstanding amount or a maximum of Dhl0,000, but try to have this stipulation dropped from your contract. Make sure your provider will allow you to utilize the equity you build in your home over time. Some lenders will allow you to use this as security for further borrowing.

Question of the week

I am buying an off-plan property. Can you explain the principles of escrow?

An escrow can be described as a legally recognized financial instrument held by a third party (typically a bank) on behalf of two other parties (typically a buyer and a seller) who have agreed to conduct a particular transaction in accordance with certain conditions. Funds are provided by the buyer and held by the party (bank) providing the escrow service until it receives the formal advice that certain previously agreed obligations of the seller have been fulfilled upon which time, the seller can receive funds to the amount specified in the agreement between the seller and buyer.

The use of escrow accounts by Dubai developers has now been mandated by law for the purpose of protecting the prepayments made by buyers. This limits developers from gaining access to funds until certain construction milestones are completed, helping ensure developers are not misappropriating funds provided in advance for purposes other than which they are intended.

Anybody can open an escrow account but not anybody can open one for the purposes of property development in Dubai. The developer must first be registered as a bona fide developer with RERA which involves providing documents ranging from those which establish the bona fide nature of the developer including details of its officers and solvency, title deeds proving ownership of the land to be developed, NOC from relevant parties to performance guarantees.

Beyond promises, Dubai brings trangible benefits

The emirate has a lot going for it that make it attractive to investors from India and other countries

I was reading with interest an online article recently that underlined the top reasons why Dubai’s property was so popular with Indian nationals. The reasons offered are not really surprising and essentially summarize why investing in property in the emirate has had significant appeal for not just Indian investors, but those from every corner of the world.

Dubai is easy

Compared to many countries in the world, investing in Dubai’s real estate sector is relatively easy. Enlist a reputable brokerage, select your desired property, negotiate a price, write the necessary cheques and the property will be yours. Bureaucracy, which makes investing in other countries a pain, is virtually nonexistent and, as long as you follow procedural requirements, your property transaction will be processed efficiently and without undue delay.

Dubai provides superior value for money

When compared to the major Indian cities or big cities around the world, Dubai offers increasingly better value. A modern infrastructure that is continually being developed, a renewed focus on affordable housing, world-leading rental yields and finance rates that have been at historic lows for some time now, the value that is inherent in Dubai property is hard to beat in India or any other country in the world.

Dubai provides superior, tax-free rental yields

put simply, there are not many real estate markets in the world where an investor can enjoy an average 7 percent yield Without paying any local taxes. So, net of service charges, maintenance costs and property management fees, the rent that you charge your tenants goes straight into your wallet without the taxman taking his share. And with the cost of finance remaining at near historic lows, the interest on any borrowings you may have is easily covered by the rent that is being yielded by your property, leaving more free cash flow to pay down your principal.

Dubai doesn’t impose a capital gains tax

In addition, capital gains are not taxed upon disposal of the asset, which makes investing in Dubai property a very lucrative addition to any investment portfolio – when taken with a long-term view, a Dubai property investment will provide handsome returns. So from a total return point of view, there are few real estate investments that are better than Dubai.

World-best infrastructure and security

Many times, investments that provide such lucrative returns are normally associated vvith excessive risks or poor infrastructure. This is not the case in Dubai. Dubai’s focus has been on developing a World-leading infrastructure for the benefit of commerce, trade, tourism and habitation. The remarkable improvement that has been made in opening Dubai up for business, implementing the physical, digital and logistical infrastructures, legal framework and economic policies in the post—recession period

has been impressive. There is no doubt that Dubai’s future is looking very bright and investors globally continue to monitor its progress very closely.

Dubai’s brand value has never been stronger

There is no doubt that Dubai has captured the imagination of the world and there is no better barometer of this than its burgeoning tourism industry. Investments in revenue-generating sectors such as entertainment and hospitality have ensured that Dubai is increasingly being included on travellers’ bucket lists all over the world.

Dubai excels at economic entrepreneurialism

Dubai is excelling in an area I call economic entrepreneurialism. Already known for conducting world renowned exhibitions, there is no greater example than the upcoming World Expo, which Dubai will be hosting in 2020. Dubai is committed to making it the best ever.

Dubai is close to India and many countries

There is no doubt that Dubai is well placed geographically. With one-third of the world’s population within a four-hour flight and two-thirds within an eight-hour flight, existing emerging, economies such as Russia, India and China, and soon-to-be emerging economies on the African and South Asian continents will soon all share Dubai as a central hub. No wonder investors are so excited about the emirates prospects.

A multicultural and cosmopolitan society

Long a haven for expats that fulfilled employment contracts of limited duration, more and more people have decided to settle down and call Dubai home. This change in outlook has had a dramatic effect on the stability of the property market and the development of a society that, while incredibly diverse, is also less transient and more committed to developing the emirate as a long-term lifestyle solution. As a result, while there has always been a vibrant and strong Indian community; communities representing other nationalities are developing rapidly making it easier for new expats to make a decision to make Dubai their new home. History has proven that strong nations were built upon such diversity.

TIME TO REVISIT THE PRACTICABILITY OF REITS

Mohanad Alwadiya, MD of Harbor Real Estate & Instructor at the Dubai Real Estate institute, the official training 81 cortication arm of the Dubai Land Department

The UAE property market slowdown aside, it is great to know that the country’s real estate landscape has gone a long way from its humble beginnings. Aside from the landmark development in 2002, when UAE property (specifically in Dubai) was initially offered to be sold on freehold basis to expatriates by the Dubai government, another important milestone and sign of industry maturity, though relatively untapped, was the introduction of real estate investment trusts (REITs) into the country, with the first REIT entity, Arabian Real Estate Investment Trust (Areit) established in 2006.

And as people continue to agonize over the current market state of affairs, l would advise ambitious though financially limited would-be investors to look into the viability of investing in REITs rather than sitting and waiting for chance to buy property they can actually afford. But what differentiates a REIT-owned property from traditional property out for sale in the market? Before moving any further, let us try to understand what REITs are first and foremost, beyond the words that make up the acronym itself a REIT is a trust company which accumulates a pool of money through an initial public offering (/PO) and buys, develops, manages and sells real estate assets. REIT5 allow both small and large investors the ability to invest in real estate without investing large amounts of capital or devoting a lot of time in directly managing a property portfolio. Investors have the opportunity to buy a unit in a REIT which is actually a portion of a managed pool of real estate; this pool of real estate then generates income through the renting, leasing, selling and financing of property and distributes it directly to the REIT investor on a regular basis. Investors in REITs can expect returns without having to deal with the headaches of maintaining, managing and marketing their real estate assets. Units held in a REIT can be bought and sold like a stock on a stock exchange so investors also have the option to make a safe exit from the property marketplace whenever they decide to do so. There are three types of REITs: equity REITs, mortgage REITs, and hybrid REITs. Equity REITs invest in and own properties and, therefore, are focused on increasing the value of those properties while also accumulating revenues from their properties’ rents. Mortgage REITs deal in the investment and ownership of property mortgages while hybrid REITs combine the investment strategies of equity REITs

And mortgage REITs by investing in both properties and mortgages. A REIT can provide portfolio diversification because of the large amounts of pooled funds available to the REIT management team which, in turn, enables the accumulation and operation of different types of property assets in different locales. This provides the REIT management greater flexibility to minimize the effects of any cyclical downturn by enabling them to focus on opportunities that always exist and emerge from any correctional period to provide a superior return. If you are a landlord or building owner,

the advantages of getting into business with a REIT are manifold; because, in effect, property owners become “shareholders” in a single real estate company, landlords can reasonably expect a safer, more secure and regular source of income in the form of rent through an easy, fuss-less, flexible, liquid and maintenance-free investment. For tenants, REIT—owned buildings, whether they are malls, business parks or towers, are usually well maintained and professionally managed, so being part of or being under a REIT establishment is a win-win for both landlords and building tenants.

التقارير العقارية تبث الضبابية وتخلق حالة من الإرباك بين المستثمرين

:دبي ملحم الزبيدي
أكد عاملون في السوق العقارية بدبي أن تضارب واختلاف التقارير الصادرة عن شركات الاستشارات والوساطة حول واقع القطاع وأدائه في الوقت الراهن والسنوات المقبلة تبث الضبابية وتخلق حالة من الإرباك بين مختلف شرائح الجهات والأطراف المعنية بالقطاع كالمطورين والمستثمرين والمستخدمين النهائيين.

وأوضح العاملون أن تضارب بيانات ونتائج هذه التقارير حول المعروض الذي سيدخل إلى السوق في الفترة المقبلة وتأثيره في عامل الطلب ونسب النمو أو التصحيح السعري يثبت عدم دقتها وشفافيتها، كما أنها لا تستند في الوقت ذاته الى قاعدة بيانات موحدة، إنما الى معلومات داخلية تخدم بالدرجة الأولى أجندة وأهدافا خاصة للجهات المصدرة لهذه التقارير التي تحاول رسم خط اتجاه لأداء السوق.

اختلفت المصادر حول الجهة الحكومية المعنية بالدرجة الأولى بتوفير قاعدة بيانات ثابتة حول معادلة العرض والطلب التي يعتمد عليها أغلبية المطورين والمستثمرين في رسم خريطة مستقبل القطاع في السنوات المقبلة، حيث رجحت جهة كفة «دائرة الأراضي والأملاك» كونها المعنية بتنظيم وضبط القطاع وتسجيل التصرفات وعقود البيع والتأجير وغيرها، فيما فضلت جهة أخرى تكليف «بلدية دبي» لاختصاصها بمنح تصاريح البناء وشهادات إنجاز المشاريع.

وطالبت المصادر أن تتبنى جهة حكومية رسمية إصدار تقرير فصلي كل ثلاثة أشهر يختص بتوضيح الأرقام والمعلومات المرتبطة بمعادلة العرض والطلب لتفنيد ودحض مزاعم شركات الاستشارات والوساطة العقارية الخاصة التي تتبنى أهدافا ومصالح داخلية بها فقط بعيداً عن تحقيق الصالح العام للقطاع العقاري برمته.

علي لوتاه: تحكيم العقل بالدرجة الأولى

قال علي راشد لوتاه، رئيس مجلس إدارة شركة نخيل العقارية: «إن تضارب واختلاف الأرقام والبيانات الصادرة عن شركات الاستشارات العقارية بشأن منحنى أداء السوق المحلي خلال الفترة المقبلة وتحديداً بشأن عدد الوحدات السكنية التي ستدخل القطاع تؤكد عدم شفافيتها وصدقها».
وأضاف لوتاه قائلاً: «إن غياب إحصاءات واضحة ودقيقة وثابتة بنفس الوقت سينعكس نسبياً بشكل سلبي على قرارات المشترين والمستخدمين النهائيين، كما سيدفع بحالة من الضبابية وعدم الوضوح أمام هذه الشريحة من أطراف صناعة العمل العقاري في سوق دبي».
وطالب لوتاه مختلف الأطراف التي تستند وتتأثر بتقارير شركات الاستشارات العقارية بالتأني وعدم التسرع والانجراف وراءها، وتحكيم العقل بالدرجة الأولى والعودة لأصحاب الخبرة والدراية في هذا القطاع من أصحاب السمعة الطيبة.
وأكد رئيس مجلس إدارة «نخيل» أن هذه التقارير والشركات المصدرة لها لا تتطلب وضع الضوابط والأنظمة من قبل الجهات الحكومية المعنية المتمثّلة بدائرة الأراضي والأملاك ومؤسسة التنظيم العقاري (ريرا)، مستنداً بذلك الى قاعدة السوق الحر والدور الذي يقع على الشرائح المستهدفة بهذه التقارير.

ماجدة علي راشد: يجب الاستناد إلى أرضية معلومات صلبة

دعت ماجدة علي راشد، مساعدة المدير العام، ورئيسة مركز تشجيع الاستثمار العقاري في «أراضي وأملاك دبي»، كافة الأطراف العاملة في السوق العقاري المحلي بالإمارة إلى الاستناد إلى قاعدة البيانات المتوافرة في الدائرة كجهة رسمية تعنى بتنظيم القطاع للحصول على المعلومات المطلوبة لرسم خططهم وتوجهاتهم المستقبلية المتعلقة بتنفيذ وتطوير المشاريع العقارية وعدم الانجراف وراء التقارير الصادرة من الشركات الخاصة التي اتسمت بتضارب نتائجها ما يثبت عدم اتسامها بالشفافية والدقة.
وأوضحت راشد أن إعداد الخطط المستقبلية لشركات التطوير العقاري وتنفيذ المشاريع الجديدة يجب أن يستند إلى أرضية صلبة ودراسات صحيحة مركزها «دائرة الأراضي والأملاك» في دبي التي تملك قاعدة بيانات ضخمة تتعلق بالتصرفات العقارية والتسجيل والتأجير والتثمين وغيرها من الخدمات الكثيرة.
وأشارت مساعدة المدير العام، ورئيسة مركز تشجيع الاستثمار العقاري في «أراضي وأملاك دبي»، إلى انه لا يمكن التحرك باتجاه إصدار تشريع قانوني أو لائحة تنظيمية او عقوبات على شركات الاستشارات العقارية الخاصة بشأن إصدار التقارير حول واقع وأداء القطاع في الوقت الراهن ومستقبله في السنوات المقبلة.

محمد المطوع: تبث التشويش والضبابية

أشار رجل الأعمال محمد عبد الرزاق المطوع، الرئيس التنفيذي ل«مجموعة الوليد الاستثمارية»، إلى أن التقارير المتضاربة من حيث الأرقام الصادرة عن شركات الاستشارات العقارية المختلفة تبث حالة من التشويش والضبابية في السوق المحلي. والسؤال الذي يطرح نفسه، من أين تحصل هذه الشركات على البيانات التي تعتمد عليها للتوصل إلى هذه النتائج، هل استندوا لقسم المباني والتراخيص التابع لبلدية دبي، وهنا نطالب المسؤولين في هذه الدائرة بإصدار تقرير شهري أو فصلي كل ثلاثة أشهر ليوضح الصورة الحقيقية عن عدد الوحدات السكنية التي ستدخل القطاع في الفترة المقبلة، وتكون في الوقت نفسه السلطة الحكومية الوحيدة المعنية في والمعتمدة لمنح تصاريح البناء والإنجاز وترقيم المباني.
وأضاف المطوع قائلاً: «إن التقرير الوحيد الذي يفترض الاستناد إليه والاعتماد عليه، وهو ما يغفل عنه الكثيرون، هو التقرير الواجب صدوره من قسم المباني والتراخيص التابع لبلدية دبي، المعني بإصدار شهادات الإنجاز للمباني والمشاريع وعدد الوحدات التي ستضيفها إلى السوق خلال المرحلة المقبلة، حيث إن كل مشروع مرتبط بموعد للإنجاز والتسليم مع وضع هامش تأخير يتراوح بين 6 أشهر وسنة كاملة لأسباب فنية وتعاقدية بين أطراف معادلة البناء».
وأوضح أيضاً أن «أراضي ودبي» و«التنظيم العقاري» وشركات التطوير ليست الجهات المعنية في توفير البيانات والأرقام المتعلقة بعدد الوحدات السكنية أو المساحات المكتبية والتجزئة التي ستنضم إلى المعروض في سوق عقارات دبي، مع الأخذ بعين الاعتبار أن القطاع الخاص يشكل النسبة الأكبر من المشاريع المنجزة وقيد الإنشاء.
وقال المطوع: «إن الأرقام المختلفة عن بعضها بعضا التي نقرأها ونسمع عنها بين الحين والآخر من بعض شركات الاستشارات العقارية، والتي يتكلم بعضها عن 20 ألف وحدة ستدخل السوق قبل نهاية العام الجاري 2015، وهناك من يتوقع 25 ألفا، وطرف ثالث يتنبأ بين 8 و 10 آلاف، بعيدة جداً عن المنطق في ظل طفرة البناء التي يشهدها سوق دبي في الوقت الراهن».
ودعا الرئيس التنفيذي ل«مجموعة الوليد الاستثمارية» وسائل الإعلام المحلية المقروءة والمسموعة والمرئية أن تضع هذه التقارير المتضاربة والمغرضة والتي تحاول الإساءة إلى سمعة بيئتنا الاستثمارية العقارية ضمن الموضوعات الحمراء وحظرها عن النشر لما له من تأثير سلبي في مختلف أطراف صناعة العقار وتحديداً المستثمر والمستخدم النهائي من حيث اتخاذ القرار بالشراء.

زياد الشعار: لا تتحرى الدقة ولا تستند للواقع

قال زياد الشعار، المدير التنفيذي والعضو المنتدب في «داماك العقارية»، «إن الأرقام الصادرة عن تقارير لشركات أبحاث وتسويق عقارية في الدولة باتت تحمل الكثير من التناقض وعدم الدقة في البيانات التي تنشرها، مشيراً إلى أن أغلب هذه التقارير لا تتحرى الدقة ولا تستخدم مصادر ذات صلة حقيقية بالقطاع العقاري».
وأوضح «أن العديد من التقارير لا تذكر مصادر بياناتها، ولا تحدد المشروعات الرئيسية التي سيتم تسليمها في دبي خلال الفترة المعلن عنها في التقرير، إلا أنه ينشر إجمالي الأرقام في العموم، ولا يوثق ما ينشر من معلومات، على الرغم من أن دقة المعلومة هو الهدف الأول من الدراسات والأبحاث التي تقدم للسوق العقارية».

وأشار الشعار «الى أن هناك فروقات كبيرة في البيانات ذاتها إذا ما تمت مقارنتها بين تقارير مختلفة، على سبيل المثال بلغ فارق عدد الوحدات السكنية التي تم تسليمها خلال النصف الأول من عام 2015، لأكثر من 5000 وحدة بين تقريرين، وهو رقم يغير في معادلة العرض والطلب».

ولفت إلى أن أكبر شركتي عقارات في دبي وهما «داماك» و«إعمار»، واللتان تمثلان نحو 50% من السوق العقارية، أعلنتا أن تسليم الوحدات خلال عام 2015 لن يزيد على 3000 وحدة سكنية، فكيف يصل إجمالي الوحدات المتوقع تسليمها خلال العام الجاري 22000 وحدة. حيث سلمت «داماك» نحو 1511 وحدة خلال النصف الأول منها 999 وحدة فقط في دبي.

وبين العضو المنتدب في «داماك العقارية»، «أن من اللازم أن يكون هناك تفرقة بين التسليمات في مناطق التملك الحر وبقية المناطق، حيث إن التسليمات فقط في مناطق التملك الحر هي التي تؤثر في العرض والطلب في السوق العقارية».
وقال الشعار: «إن تضارب وارتباك الأرقام الخاصة بالسوق العقارية في دبي لا يصب في مصلحة القطاع، إذ يخلق حالة من التشويش على القرارات الاستثمارية للمشترين لا سيما غير المقيمين في الدولة، الأمر الذي يتطلب الرقابة والدقة حتى يتم رفد السوق ببيانات تساعد المشترين على اتخاذ قرارات صحيحة ومدروسة».

مهند الوادية: تنعكس سلباً على البيئة الاستثمارية العقارية

ذكر الخبير العقاري، مهند الوادية، المدير الإداري في شركة «هاربور العقارية»، وأستاذ محاضر معتمد وعضو في «كلية دبي العقارية»، أن التقارير العقارية الصادرة عن مصادر مختلفة كشركات الاستشارات والوساطة العقارية تأتي أغلبيتها باتجاه خدمة مصالح خاصة بهذه الجهات وتنفيذ أجندة معينة لها.

وأفاد الوادية أن هذه التقارير هي اجتهادات جيدة ولا بأس بها، لكن كثرتها وتضاربها من حيث النتائج تنعكس بشكل سلبي على البيئة الاستثمارية العقارية في السوق المحلي، لذلك تأتي «دائرة الأراضي والأملاك» في دبي على رأس الجهات الحكومية المعنية في ضبط وتنظيم هذه التقارير.

حالة من الإرباك وعدم التوازن

أكد المهندس فارس سعيد، رئيس مجلس إدارة «دايموند ديفلوبرز»، وعضو التجمع العقاري التابع ل«دائرة الأراضي والأملاك» في دبي أن تضارب التقارير الصادرة عن بعض شركات الاستشارات العقارية حول السوق المحلي في دبي يبعث إلى حالة من الإرباك وفقدان التوازن لدى أغلبية المستثمرين والمستخدمين النهائيين، الأمر الذي يؤثر بشكل سلبي في منحنى أداء السوق.

وأوضح سعيد أن تضارب التقارير العقارية ليست مشكلة حديثة، وإنما نواجه صناعة القطاع منذ أكثر من عقد من الزمن الأمر الذي بات يتطلب تحركا فوريا من قبل الجهات الحكومية المعنية بتنظيم وضبط السوق العقاري في إمارة دبي والمتمثلة ب«دائرة الأراضي الأملاك» و«مؤسسة التنظيم العقاري» (ريرا) من حيث وضع ضوابط ومعايير للتدقيق على هذه التقارير ومراجعتها قبل صدورها والموافقة عليها، ونقترح هنا تشكيل لجنه تحت مظلة الدائرة أو المؤسسة.

وتساءل سعيد عن الأسس والمعايير التي تعتمد عليها هذه الشركات في إصدار تقاريرها، وعلى ماذا تعتمد في نفس الوقت أيضا؟ وما الدوائر التي تستند إليها للحصول على قاعدة بياناتها للتوصل إلى نتائجها النهائية؟ ومن وجهة نظرنا أن تضارب النتائج هو دليل قاطع على عدم صحتها وأمانتها.

وقال رئيس مجلس إدارة شركة «دايموند ديفلوبرز»: «إن النمو الذي تشهده دولة الإمارات ودبي خصوصاً يستند إلى النمو الذي تشهده المؤشرات الفعلية للاقتصاد الكلي المتمثلة بمعدل نمو الناتج المحلي الإجمالي ومساهمات القطاعات الرئيسية في هذا الناتج ونموه، إضافة إلى تدفق الاستثمارات ونمو السيولة، وزيادة الاستثمارات الحكومية في مشاريع البنى التحتية».

خبراء عزوا تراجعها إلى إرجاء القرار الاستثماري وعوامل نفسية 12.5 مليار درهم تصرّفات عقارات دبي في أكتوبر الجاري

حقق إجمالي التصرّفات العقارية من بيع ورهن في دبي، خلال أكتوبر الجاري، نحو 12.5 مليار درهم، منها ثمانية مليارات درهم معاملات بيع أراضٍ وشقق وفلل، و4.5 مليارات درهم معاملات رهن.

وكشفت بيانات دائرة الأراضي والأملاك في دبي، وجود انخفاض في قيمة التصرّفات خلال أكتوبر، مقارنة مع سبتمبر السابق، إذ بلغت قيمة التصرفات في سبتمبر نحو 20.4 مليار درهم. وعزا خبراء عقاريون لـ«الإمارات اليوم» تراجع التصرفات العقارية خلال أكتوبر مقابل سبتمبر، إلى عوامل عدة، أبرزها العامل النفسي في السوق، الناجم عن التأثر بالعوامل الجيوسياسية، فضلاً على إرجاء القرار الاستثماري من قبل بعض المشترين للعقارات في دبي، انتهازاً لفرصة تراجع يتوقعونها في السوق.

وتفصيلاً، أظهرت بيانات دائرة الأراضي والأملاك في دبي، أن إجمالي قيمة التصرّفات العقارية من بيع ورهن في دبي، سجل، خلال أكتوبر الماضي، نحو 12.5 مليار درهم، مقارنة بـ20.4 مليار درهم في سبتمبر الذي سبقه.

وأوضحت البيانات أن أكتوبر شهد تراجعاً في إجمالي مبيعات الأراضي والفلل والوحدات السكنية، إذ بلغت ثمانية مليارات درهم مقابل 12.3 مليار درهم تم تحقيقها في سبتمبر، كما انخفضت الرهون في أكتوبر إلى 4.5 مليارات درهم مقابل 8.03 مليارات درهم في سبتمبر.

إلى ذلك، قال المدير الإداري في شركة «هاربور» العقارية، مهند الوادية، إن «هناك عدداً من العوامل أثرت في تصرفات العقارات بدبي التي تراجعت خلال أكتوبر»، لافتاً إلى أنه «يأتي على رأس هذه الأسباب العامل النفسي المتأثر بالعوامل الجيوسياسية في المنطقة، إضافة إلى العوامل الاقتصادية العالمية التي لاتزال تؤثر في القرار الاستثماري العقاري».

وأضاف الوادية أنه «على الرغم من هذه الأسباب، إلا أن الوضع العقاري في دبي على المدى الطويل مبشر لوجود عوامل رئيسة من الممكن أن تؤثر في السوق، منها بدء الاستعداد الفعلي لمعرض (إكسبو 2020)، إذ سيوفر المعرض مزيداً من الزخم لقطاع العقارات».

من جهته، أرجع الرئيس التنفيذي لشركة «إس إيه إس إنترناشيونال للعقارات»، سيف بن يوخه «التباطؤ في مبيعات العقارات بدبي خلال الشهر الجاري، إلى التريث من قبل بعض المستثمرين العقاريين بهدف اقتناص الفرص في السوق، مع توقعاتهم بتراجع أسعار العقارات».

وأشار إلى أن «السيولة موجودة في السوق، لكن القرار الاستثماري هو الغائب، إذ يرجئ الكثيرون عملية الشراء بالتزامن مع وجود عوامل من الممكن أن تؤثر في السوق سلباً من وجهة نظرهم»، متوقعاً أن «ترتفع قيمة التصرفات بدءاً من الشهر المقبل».

بدوره، قال خبير عقاري، رفض ذكر اسمه، إن «هناك سبباً من الممكن أن يكون مؤثراً في الأرقام الخاصة بتصرفات العقارات، هو أن السيولة الموجودة في السوق تمتصها مبيعات المشروعات على الخارطة، التي لا يتم تسجيلها بشكل سريع من قبل دائرة الأراضي والأملاك»، لافتاً إلى أن «هذه المشروعات لا تسجل مباشرة ضمن أرقام التصرفات التي تسجلها الدائرة شهرياً».

وفي السياق ذاته، قال الرئيس التنفيذي لشركة «ستاندرد» المتخصصة في إدارة العقارات، عبدالكريم الملا، إن «الأوضاع في السوق العقارية بدبي حالياً أفضل بكثير من فترة الصيف، حتى ولو كان هناك تراجع في تصرفات شهر من الشهور»، مشيراً إلى أن «النظرة الكلية على القطاع مبشرة».

وأكد الملا أن «دبي تتمتع بمناخ استثماري قوي، خصوصاً في هذه الفترة، يجذب الكثير من الاستثمارات في القطاع العقاري ومن جميع دول العالم»، مبيناً أن «وجود أهم عناصر الاستثمار التي ترتبط بتوافر عامل الأمن والأمان والاستقرار متوافرة في الإمارات، إذ تمتلك البنية الأساسية الملائمة والمتطورة التي تجذب المستثمرين ورؤوس الأموال».

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Ask the agent

Q1) There are many opportunities invest in off-plan properties, but the values in the secondary market have improved significantly. Are there still advantages of buying off-plan?

Purchasing a property off-plan can provide you with superior capital gains by the time of completion, providing you are buying at a discount to today’s finished inventory and the market strengthens up to the completion date for the particular property that you are considering. This will depend on an estimation of economic growth, population expansion, the number of competing projects in the pipeline and eventual industry inventory position. Be smart about the “product” that you buy and try to avail yourself of a payment plan. Look for certain property types complete with amenities and facilities in locations you believe will be sought in the future. Deal only with reputable developers and check the status of the escrow account.

Q2) I am planning to invest in Dubai real estate.As this would be my first property investment, can you give any useful tips?

First of all, know why you want to invest in property. You must have a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve and what role your property portfolio will play in building your wealth. Then you must set your financial objectives carefully. Success in property investment can only be attained when (and if) those objectives have been realised. Always think long term for your greatest success. Those who have had the greatest success possess the ability to think long term, make rational, well-researched and carefully thought-out decisions with the end objectives in mind and understand that every real estate industry globally will go through cycles of growth and contraction. Make sure you know your-stuff by being able to communicate intelligently and knowledgeably with the experts. Always strive to eliminate risks. Plan your finances, cash flows, capital requirements and debt levels carefully.

Q3) I wish to sell my villa, but the garden needs a little bit of work. Is it worth investing in improving the garden? Am I likely to get my money back?

For your garden to become a selling point, you need to establish a low-maintenance, functional landscape that is highly appealing to the potential buyer. Resist the temptation to clutter the landscape with every species of flora known to man. Plants grow and you need to keep that growth in check as your garden can look unkempt and create a negative impression. Ensure that all landscaping elements must be coordinated carefully. if you don‘t know or understand the differing qualities of certain soils, it’s time to call your landscape gardener and have him produce an impressive garden for you. Even if you don’t plan on selling your home for another five or 10 years, now is a good time to lay the foundation for a great landscape design that will win over your future homebuyers.

Q4) While the correction in the Dubai property market is broad, certain segments have undergone a greater correction than others. Are there greater-opportunities in some segments in terms of long-term ROI?

Definitely! We are encouraging everyone to invest in the lower priced, higher value, affordable segment of the market as there are some great opportunities. There are many high-performing, yet affordable developments spread all across Dubai, giving investors a wide range of options to choose from. Apartments in some developments have seen excellent capital growth with some residences growing by 35%-over the past two years, with rental premiums of at least 7% not uncommon. Demand for this type of affordable accommodation continues to grow especially as Dubai’s population swells in the run-up to the Expo. invest in an apartment and retain ownership for at least five years as you will benefit from superior capital growth and enjoy a healthy net annual rental return.

Question of the week

Q5) Recent reports have suggested that the current property correction in dubai has bottomed. Would you agree with this and is it a good time to buy?

It is always difficult to pick peaks and troughs in real estate cycles.
Having said that, there are definitely opportunities available and advantages to be gained from purchasing now as the next few years are expected to see strong economic growth. Start your property search immediately as a property investment requires the same approach regardless of the state of the market. lf you have the cash, pay for it outright, but do consider taking out a mortgage as long as you understand the impact of interest rate rises in the future. Think carefully about location, surrounding infrastructure, construction quality, and developer reputation and building amenities. Properties with attractive views, close to the beach, with golfing facilities, are part of an iconic development and have close access to the Metro generally provide good returns. You also need to consider the effectivity of the owners association, the service charges and the quality of maintenance services as these will affect the long-term value of your investment. Be purposeful, patient and pragmatic and you are well on the way to making a very good investment decision.