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ستون مشروعاً عقارياً في دبي بـ 127 مليار درهم خلال 9 أشهر

يوسف العربي (دبي) أطلقت شركات التطوير العقارية نحو 60 مشروعاً في دبي، تناهز تكلفتها الإجمالية 127 مليار درهم، خلال الأشهر التسعة الأولى من العام الحالي، تنوعت بين السكني والفندقي والمكتبي والتجزئة، وفق رصد أجرته «الاتحاد». وتصدرت «إعمار» و«وصل» و«دبي وورلد سنترال»، و«نخيل» و«مجموعة دبي للعقارات» و«مركز دبي للسلع المتعددة» الشركات شبه الحكومية على صعيد إطلاق المشروعات الجديدة، فيما نشطت شركات أخرى من القطاع الخاص على هذا الصعيد، وهي «داماك» و«بالما» و«آر بي جلوبال» و«ماج» وتنوعت المشروعات التي تم الكشف عنها خلال الفترة الممتدة من بداية شهر يناير حتى نهاية شهر سبتمبر الماضي، بين مشروعات الفنادق والإسكان الفاخر والمتوسط، بالإضافة إلى مشاريع التجزئة والمكاتب. وتميزت المشروعات التي تم إطلاقها خلال الفترة المشار إليها بأسعارها التنافسية، وقدرتها على إضفاء قيمة مضافة ولمسات ابتكارية لتعزيز جاذبيتها للمستثمرين الذين باتوا أكثر حرصاً على انتقاء مشترياتهم العقارية بعناية فائقة. وتنوعت المميزات التنافسية التي يعرضها كل مشروع ابتداءً من التصميم المعماري العالمي، وصولاً إلى الإطلالات المتميزة على ملاعب الجولف، فضلاً عن إضافة المرافق التعليمية، والترفيهية، والصحية، للتجمعات السكنية.عرض متوازن وقال زياد الشعار، المدير التنفيذي والعضو المنتدب لشركة «داماك العقارية» لـ «الاتحاد»: «إن إطلاق المشروعات الجديدة بمثابة مؤشر مهم على وجود الطلب في السوق المحلية، حيث تقوم شركات التطوير بإطلاق هذه المشروعات، وفق دراسات دقيقة ترصد مستويات الطلب ونوعيته». وأضاف أن المشروعات التي تم إطلاقها منذ مطلع العام الحالي لن تتسبب في إغراق السوق العقارية، حيت لا تتجاوز في مجملها نحو 15% من حجم السوق العقارية، على عكس المشروعات العقارية التي تم إطلاقها قبيل الأزمة المالية العالمية التي بدأت في عام 2008، والتي شكلت نحو 400% من حجم القطاع العقاري. ونوه الشعار بأن السوق العقاري في دبي لا يزال يحتفظ بمقومات توليد الطلب الحقيقي على العقارات نتيجة البيئة الاستثمارية والمعيشية التي نجحت الدولة في توفيرهما للمستثمرين العقاريين. ولفت إلى أن السوق العقاري يتميز أيضاً بارتفاع متوسط العائد على الاستثمار العقاري بلغ مقارنة ببقية الأسواق العالمية، حيث بلغ نحو 8% خلال النصف الأول من العام الحالي، ما يجعل المدينة واحدة من أبرز وجهات الاستثمار في العالم، إذ لا تقدم أسواق كبرى، مثل لندن ونيويورك وسنغافورة، مثل هذه العوائد. زيادة استثمارات الأفراد ومن جانبه، قال المستشار العقاري إسماعيل الحمادي، المؤسس والمدير التنفيذي لشركة الرواد: «إن التقارير الرسمية الصادرة عن دائرة الأراضي والأملاك في دبي تؤكد زيادة استثمارات الأفراد لا سيما من المواطنين في القطاع العقاري، بعد وصول سعر الوحدات لمستويات تنافسية لم تكن متاحة من قبل». وأكد الحمادي، أنه على الرغم من انخفاض أسعار العقارات السكنية بنسبة تخطت ال 3% في الربع الثاني من العام الحالي، فإن المبيعات العقارية للشركات الرئيسة في الإمارة لا تزال تشهد نمواً كبيراً مطرداً، استناداً للإفصاحات المدققة لهذه الشركات للنصف الأول. وبلغت قيمة مبيعات شركة «إعمار العقارية» خلال الأشهر الستة الأولى من العام الحالي 6,12 مليار درهم، كما حصلت داماك نحو 3,67 مليار درهم خلال الفترة نفسها، بعد أن سلّمت 1511 وحدة خلال الأشهر الستة الأولى من العام الحالي، كما أعلنت الشركة عن اعتزامها تسليم عدد مماثل خلال النصف الثاني. وأكد الحمادي، أن تزايد وتيرة البناء والإنشاءات وطرح المشروعات من قبل الشركات العقارية الرئيسة يؤشر على نمو حقيقي على أرض الواقع في الطلب الحقيقي من قبل المستخدم النهائي. النضج العقاري ومن جهته، أكد الخبير العقاري والمحاضر بكلية دبي العقارية مهند الوادية، أن السوق العقاري في الإمارات بلغ مرحلة النضج العقاري بعد الطفرات المتتالية التي شهدتها التداولات العقارية عقب فوز الإمارة باستضافة معرض إكسبو 2020. وأضاف الوادية أن مواصلة الشركات لإطلاق المشروعات العقارية ينم عن ثقة كبيرة من قبل المستثمرين بأداء السوق العقارية ومستقبله، في ظل النجاحات التي يحققها الاقتصاد الوطني ونجاحه في تحقيق التنوع. وأشار الوادية إلى أن الإمارات باتت الملاذ الأمن للاستثمارات وسط هذه المنطقة المضطربة من العالم، حيث نجحت تصدر الوجهات السياحية والاستثمارية والترفيهية في المنطقة، وهي العوامل التي تنعكس بدورها على أداء القطاع العقاري على المديين البعيد والمتوسط ولفت إلى وجود مؤشرات إيجابية عدة في الوقت الراهن، منها نمو سوق الرهن العقاري على نحو غير مسبوق، وهو السوق الذي يعتمد بشكل رئيس على المستخدمين النهائيين للوحدات العقارية، كما أن الشركات العقارية أصبحت أكثر حرصاً على طرح مشروعات عقارية تتناسب مع طبيعة الطلب العقاري بالسوق المحلية. مشروعات جديدة ووفق الرصد الذي أجرته «الاتحاد» قامت شركة إعمار العقارية منفردة بإطلاق 10 مشروعات، ضمت أكثر من 3000 وحدة، بقيمة إجمالية تقدر بنحو 8 مليارات درهم منذ مطلع العام الحالي وحتى نهاية سبتمبر من العام ذاته. وضمت قائمة المشروعات التي أطلقتها شركة إعمار العقارية خلال العام الحالي مشروع «داون تاون فيوز» الذي يضم 424 وحدة، و»فورتي» الذي يضم 505 وحدة، و»فيرواي» الذي يضم 280 وحدة، و»مبيل» الذي يضم 646 وحدة. كما أطلقت شركة إعمار مشروع «كريك سايد ريزيدنس ساوز- تي 2» الذي يضم 149 وحدة، ومشروع «تي ثري» (101 وحدة)، و»دبي كريك ريزيدنس بوديوم» (24 وحدة)، بالإضافة إلى مشروعي «أكاسيا بارك هايتس» و»أزاليا» اللذين يضمان 477، و108 وحدات على التوالي. وأطلقت شركة إعمار مشروع «كريك سايد 18» السكني الذي يقع ضمن مشروع «خور دبي»، وقامت الشركة بطرح وحدات من المبنى «A» بمشروع «كريك سايد 18»، فيما تم إرجاء طرح المبني الثاني بالمشروع إلى مراحل لاحقة، وفق أوضاع السوق ومستويات الطلب الحقيقي على العقارات السكنية في السوق المحلية. توجهات الإمارة ومن جانبها أطلقت مجموعة «وصل لإدارة الأصول التابعة لمؤسسة دبي العقارية» أربعة مشروعات بقيمة 40 مليار درهم، حيث أكدت الشركة أن باقة المشروعات الجديدة التي تنفذها مؤسسة دبي العقارية تحت مظلة مجموعة «وصل» تتناغم بقوة مع توجهات الإمارة، انطلاقاً من مسؤولياتها في تطوير وتحديث القطاع العقاري في إمارة دبي، وتوفير الوحدات السكنية والسياحية والتجارية التي تلبي حاجة دبي. وتشمل المشروعات «وصل بارك 1»، الذي ينفذ بالقرب من حديقة زعبيل الخضراء، ليكون جزيرة حضرية في قلب مدينة دبي، أما المشروع الثاني فهو «برج وصل» في شارع الشيخ زايد، في حين سيكون المشروع الثالث، وهو «بوابة وصل»، أحد المشاريع المبتكرة. ويقع المشروع الرابع في منطقة ند الحمر مقابل شارع الشيخ محمد بن زايد، ويطلق عليه حدائق ند الحمر، ويضم أكثر من 115 قطعة أرض متعددة الاستخدامات، تخضع لقوانين التملك الحر في الإمارة، وتمتد على مساحة 6 ملايين قدم مربعة. دبي الجنوب ومن ناحيتها أطلقت دبي الجنوب مشروع «القرى» الذي يقع بالقرب من مطار آل مكتوم، ومنطقة إكسبو 2020، بتكلفة إجمالية تصل إلى 25 مليار درهم. ويتضمن المخطط الرئيس للمشروع ما بين 3 إلى 5 قرى، تضم أكثر من 20 ألف وحدة سكنية على مساحة 5 كيلو مترات مربع، ومن المقرر طرح المشروع بنظام التملك الحر، مع إتاحة خيار التأجير الذي ينتهي بالتمليك، وذلك لتسهيل عمليات التمويل أمام المشترين. جبل علي جاردنز وتقدر القيمة الاستثمارية لخمسة مشروعات جديدة، طرحتها شركة نخيل العقارية خلال العام الحالي، بأكثر من 20 مليار درهم، حيث تم إطلاق مشروع «جبل علي جاردنز» الذي يضم 42 مبنى، ونحو 10 آلاف وحدة سكنية، تستوعب 40 ألف شخص في مجتمع سكني جديد، بتكلفة استثمارية تزيد على 15 مليار درهم. وسيحتوي المشروع على أكثر من 1,1 مليون قدم مربعة من الحدائق الخضراء ذات المناظر الطبيعية، والتي تغطي تقريباً خُمس مساحة الموقع، إضافة إلى مسار للجري بطول 2 كيلومتر، ومسابح، وملاعب رياضية لكرة القدم، والتنس، وكرة السلة. وكشفت شركة «نخيل» عن اعتزامها تحويل منطقة جذع «نخلة جميرا» بالكامل إلى وجهة للمشي والتنزه على الشاطئ والحديقة ومجمع لتجارة التجزئة والمقاهي، وذلك في إطار مشروع جديد باسم «ذا بالم بروميناد». وأعلنت «نخيل» العقارية، خلال العام الحالي، عن تعيين شركة «فان أورد» مقاولاً لأعمال الهندسة البحرية، لتجهيز 23,5 كيلومتر من السواحل وكواسر أمواج في مشروع «جزر ديرة»، الواجهة البحرية الجديدة لدبي الممتدة على مساحة 15,3 كيلومتر مربع، في صفقة بلغت 387 مليون درهم. وأطلقت الشركة خلال العام الحالي أيضاً عمليات تأجير المحال التجارية ومنافذ بيع الأغذية والمكاتب في مشروع «غولدن مايل»، ضمن مشروع «النخلة جميرا» في دبي كجزء من محفظة توسعها السريع في قطاع عمليات التجزئة، ويضم المشروع 70 منفذاً، منها ما هو مخصص للمطاعم، ومنها ما هو مخصص لمحال السوبر ماركت، فضلاً عن النادي الصحي والمركز الطبي. ومن جانبه، كشف مركز دبي للسلع المتعددة، عن مشروع «منطقة برج 2020» التي تضيف 6 أبراج جديدة إلي منطقة «أبراج بحيرات جميرا»، إضافة على برج 2020 د الذي سيكون من أطول الأبراج التجارية. وأفاد المركز بأن تصميم المشروع جاء ليكون القلب التجاري لبوابة دبي الجنوبية، ومركز أعمال الشركات بمختلف أنواعها، ويتضمن أبراجاً فائقة التطور، ضمن منطقة حضرية متعددة الاستخدامات، توفر بيئة مثالية للعيش والعمل. وتبلغ المساحة المبنية للمشروع أكثر من مليون متر مربع، أي ما يعادل تقريباً ثلث مساحة منطقة «أبراج بحيرات جميرا»، ونحو ضعف مساحة «مركز روكفيلر» في نيويورك، إضافة إلى المساحات التجارية الممتازة، يوفر المشروع ما يزيد على 100 ألف متر مربع من مساحات التجزئة التي ستلبي احتياجات سوق غير مُشبعة، تشمل المنطقة الحرة التابعة لمركز دبي للسلع المتعددة، و«أبراج بحيرات جميرا»، والمناطق المحيطة، وتقدر القيمة الاستثمارية المبدئية للمشروع 4 مليارات درهم. وأطلقت «مجموعة دبي للعقارات»، مشروعي «وان جي بي آر» ومشروع سكني آخر. ومن ناحيتها كشف شركة ميدان خلال العام الحالي عن مشروع « ميدان وان» الذي يغطي هذا المشروع مساحة تبلغ نحو ثلاثة ملايين ونصف مليون متر مربع، وأعلى مطعم على ارتفاع 675 مترًا، وأكبر نافورة راقصة علوها 420 مترًا، وأطول منحدر للتزلج على الجليد طوله 1,2 كيلومتر وارتفاعه 180 مترًا، إلى جانب متنزه «كريستال لاغون» المائي، الذي يسترخي فيه الزوار. ويضم أيضًا مركزاً تجارياً هو «ميدان وان مول»، الذي يتألف من 652 متجرًا، بقدرة استيعاب تصل إلى 78,300 شخص، ويتضمن مرافق رياضية، تمتد على مساحة 25 ألف قدم مربعة، وتتسع ل8 آلاف شخص. ويتميز «ميدان ون مول» بسقف قابل للطي، طوله 150 مترًا وعرضه 80 مترًا، يتم فتحه في الأشهر المعتدلة، وبجانبها صالة تزلج مغلقة متعددة الأغراض، طولها 1,5 كيلومتر تقريبًا، وهي بالتالي أطول صالة تزلج في العالم، وتبلغ قيمة المشروع نحو 8,6 مليارات دولار، ومن المتوقع الانتهاء من أعماله في عام 2020. شركات القطاع الخاص حاضرة بقوة في المشهد العقاري دبي (الاتحاد) نشطت شركات التطوير العقاري من القطاع الخاص دبي في إطلاق المشروعات العقارية حيث قامت شركة «داماك العقارية» منفردة بطرح 8 مشروعات بقيمة تقدر بنحو 6 مليارات درهم. وأطلقت شركة داماك العقارية، أربعة أبراج فاخرة تضم ما يزيد على 700 وحدة سكنية في مشروع «فيريديس». وتقع الأبراج الأربعة في أحضان الطبيعة الخضراء داخل مشروع «أكويا أوكسجين». وقامت الشركة بإطلاق «باراماونت ريزيدنسز» في مشروع «باراماونت تاور هوتيل آند ريزيدنسز»، الذي يتألف من فندق فاخر يضم 826 وحدة سكنية بالإضافة إلى وحدات سكنية فندقية. كما أطلقت داماك العقارية، أولى فللها الفندقية ضمن مجتمع أكويا أكسجين المتميز في دبي وتتراوح الفلل بين ثلاث وست غرف نوم وتقع الفيلات ضمن مجمع مغلق وسط 55 مليون قدم مربعة من المساحات الخضراء. وفي مجال التجزئة كشفت الشركة عن مشروع اسم «فيستا لوكس»، ويمتد على مساحة مليون قدمٍ مربعة، وسيكون بمثابة مركز الترفيه الأساسي ووجهة التسوق لمشروع «أكويا أوكسجين». وخلال العام 2015 أطلقت داماك العقارية، «برج ميرانو» السكني المستوحى من التصاميم الإيطالية الفاخرة. وأطلقت داماك، أول منازل حصرية ومحدودة العدد في العالم بلمسات «بوجاتي» وستحتل المجموعة الحصرية والمحدودة من الفلل التي أُطلق عليها اسم «إيتوري 971 بلمسات بوجاتي»، موقعاً مميزاً ضمن المساحات الخضراء لمشروع «أكويا أوكسجين». من جانبها، أطلقت شركة «ديار للتطوير»، مبيعات الوحدات السكنية في مشروع «أفنان ديستركت» التابعة لمشروع مجمع «ميدتاون» في المنطقة العالمية للإنتاج الإعلامي، والذي تتراوح تكلفته بين 2,5 إلى 3 مليارات درهم. وأعلنت «آر بي جلوبال» عن اعتزامها ضخ استثمارات تقدر بنحو أكثر من 5,5 مليار في مشروعين عقاريين بدبي أولهما برج «آر بي هايتس» السكني بقيمة 1,5 مليار درهم بوسط مدينة دبي ويتكون من 50 طابقاً ويضم 268 وحدة سكنية فيما يتألف المشروع الثاني الذي تبلغ كلفته 4 مليارات من مبنى «آر بي ون». ويقع المشروع الثاني الذي تبلغ كلفته 4 مليارات درهم وهو متعدد الاستخدامات. وأعلنت شركة «بالما القابضة» عن إطلاق مشروعين عقاريين جديدين بقيمة 3,7 مليار درهم خلال العام الحالي، المشروع الأول الكائن على نخلة جميرا «سيرينيا ريزيدنسيز» عبارة عن مشروع سكني فاخر على شاطئ البحر، وصمم ليكون الأكثر تميزاً في دبي. أما المشروع الثاني للشركة، عبارة عن مشروع سكني فاخر، وسيضيف وجهة فاخرة أخرى إلى المواقع المتميزة في دبي. وأعلنت «ماج 5 للتطوير العقاري» وهي شركة عقارية تم تأسيسها من خلال علاقة شراكة بين «ماج للتطوير العقاري»، و«إم بي إم القابضة» عن إطلاق مشروع سكني جديد متكامل، وبأسعار معقولة، تحت اسم «ماج 5 بوليفارد» في منطقة «دبي وورلد سنترال»، حيث تم وضع خطة دفع ميسّرة لخمس سنوات بفائدة 0 %، وسيبدأ التسليم 2018. ويتمتع المشروع الجديد البالغة كلفة إنشائه 700 مليون درهم بموقع استراتيجي داخل المنطقة السكنية القريبة من «دبي وورلد سنترال»، وسيضم أكثر من 1000 وحدة سكنية.

mohanad_in_style

Innovation… thriving where others do not survive

There have been a number of articles recently published describing the pressure that some real estate agencies are feeling as a result of the current correction in the Dubai real estate market. There have also been instances of real estate brokerages laying off a significant number of their staff or closing their doors altogether.

For some, survival was a short-lived ride on the post-Global Financial Crisis (GFC) wave, and the recent instances whereby entire businesses have struggled to continue surviving begs the question: what are the determinants of success in today’s market climate?

The answers are as simple as they are difficult to attain. They remain elusive for many companies; but those establishments that understand them, capture them, develop them and practice them stand a greater chance at enjoying unbridled success.

It may be a cliché, but a primary ingredient essential to success is passion. Without passion, you cannot be successful in this business. Any real estate operation must attract, develop, motivate and retain a passionate group ofprofessionals, and any serious client will recognize this. This is a people’s business, and without a passionate and professional team, survival will be impossible.

Experience is critical. We are in a business characterized by high capital requirements, a broad spectrum of risks and deep emotional involvement. Failure cannot be an option. That is why I know I am fortunate to be part of an executive team with over 20 years of experience in the Dubai real estate market. As we are all aware, the industry has been evolving rapidly and still remains one of the most dynamic in the world. The GFC did show us that this is not an industry for those who don’t know what they are doing, and to be able to draw deep on experience is invaluable.

Being flexible and developing the capability to adapt is a prerequisite to success, particularly in a market that is changing so rapidly. The GFC was a period of rapidly changing circumstances, which bore unprecedented challenges requiring immediate yet innovative solutions. This was a difficult period, but also one of great learning, which put those who were flexible and adaptable in a great position to capitalize on the opportunities that were to eventually emerge with the recovery. It was no easy task and it required a brutally honest assessment of individual capabilities, as well as the capabilityof the organization to continue to provide the services that clients required, but within a totally new environmental context emanating from what was essentially economic turmoil.

But it is a culture of innovation that separates the “thrivers” from survivors. There is no doubt that tried and true practices that worked in the past have required an overhaul in order to address new realities, and create and maintain a discernible edge in a highly competitive market. This is what really differentiates those that have thrived in the post-global recession period, from those that managed to survive only to falter as a result of the latest market correction. A key learning from the GFC is that innovation relevant to circumstances will always prevail regardless of the situation. Whether the market is hot or cold, innovation will always provide the competitive edge.

If you look at the industry today and compare it to the days of 2008, it has come a long way. The advances made in the legal framework, regulatory infrastructure and overall governance typify a market that is rapidly heading towards full maturation and the type of sustainable profitable growth that all stakeholders in the industry have been seeking.

As professionals who care about our business, we must continue to embrace and support any change that will improve the health of our industry. Because it is the health of our industry that really matters most. Those of us who are around to tell of our experiences during the GFC will recall that the initial objective was pretty basic: to survive in an environment that nobody in the industry had witnessed before and, in order to survive, we needed to adapt, innovate and develop as individuals and organizations. Those that didn’t fell by the wayside, for after all, that is what a recession is all about… survival of the fittest… and it is the fittest that will thrive.

More buyers get lawyers to read the fine print

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Property owners are concerned over growing disputes and investment security.

The number of property dispute cases filed in Q1 2009 increased by 55 per cent compared to Q4 2008. (EB FILE)

Increasing real estate disputes and concerns over security of a property investment are prompting buyers to seek legal advice prior to making a transaction, according to agents.

“Clients have serious concerns over the security of their real estate investments. Further, increase in number of real estate disputes is a result of many prospective buyers seeking legal advice prior to making a transaction,” said Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director, Harbor Real Estate.

“This was not the case in previous years which also contributed greatly to the problems that clients were facing as proper due diligence was not conducted prior to the sale and purchase of property,” he said.

Speaking to Emirates Business in a round table, Shilpa Guruswamy, Head of Legal and Sales Coordination, Asteco Property Management; Charles Neil, CEO, Landmark Advisory & Landmark Properties and Liz O’Connor, Director – Residential Sales & Leasing, Better Homes, said they were ensuring all correct steps were followed within their companies and ensuring all documentations were in place before a transaction is completed.

Do you have a law firm that advises you on the authenticity of your real estate transactions?

Guruswamy: Yes, we have a legal department, which oversees our transaction details and is also responsible for the compliance and risk mitigation process.

Neil: We have law firms to draw up all our documentation which protects the rights of our clients. Our accounts are audited by one of the four big auditors in order to ensure there is a clear distinction between our funds and our clients’ funds.

Real estate agencies, however, should be careful using companies claiming to be trust companies as they are not regulated, and if they have doubts they should use a reputed company of lawyers instead.

O’Connor: Yes, we do have a lawyer on board who manages our legal procedures and contractual obligations on transactions. Through our in-house lawyer as well as our managers, we ensure that all correct steps are followed and documentation is in place before a transaction is completed.

Alwadiya: In 2009, we joined forces with Prestige Legal Consultants, an international law company, to provide counselling and representation to all our clients in all legal matters concerning real estate in Dubai.

This partnership was started to keep in line with our vision to evolve our services from traditional real estate brokerage of merely bringing buyers and sellers together to world-class end-to-end real estate services. The holistic real estate legal services will complement our diverse line of services and govern all the activities and transactions of our clients.

The combined real estate experience of our firms enable us to provide clear candid counsel and guidance to our clients at all times to ensure that their rights are always protected.

Is this a new trend due to the downturn in the real estate sector?

Guruswamy: Real estate transactions, whether sales, lease, or appointment of sub-agents, are all essentially structured through legal contracts. Therefore, all these underlying documents need to be verified to ensure compliance to statutes and contract laws.

It is not a new trend but as the market matures there is greater emphasis on regulation and transparency. Therefore, there is increased need to have people with necessary legal background and expertise to scrutinise or draft documents. It is in no way related to the downturn because we had a legal department in place and operational long before the onset of the downturn.

Neil: We feel there should be laws allowing the setting up of trust accounts, but in our case customers trust us as we have strong finances and strong shareholders.

O’Connor: No, for us this is not as a result of the downturn in the real estate sector. We created this position a number of years ago due to volume of transactions and to oversee our international operations.

Alwadiya: Real estate-related enquiries have increased since the 2008 financial downturn. Many of the clients have serious concerns about the security of their real estate investments.

It was estimated that the number of cases filed in the first quarter of 2009 increased by 55 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. This drastic increase in the number of real estate disputes is a result of many reasons ranging from investors not fulfilling their obligations, sale and purchase agreements containing provisions that contradict the law about developers not delivering projects on time, and many more.

Prospective buyers are also seeking legal advice prior to making a transaction. This was not the case in previous years and also contributed greatly to the problems that clients were facing as proper due diligence was not conducted prior to the sale and purchase of property.

Most of the current legal enquiries that our legal division receives are usually concerned with the real estate regulations and legislations.

The profound perception of the industry and the daily interface with real estate clientele have resulted in the espousal of a fresh innovative legal counselling scheme. According to a recent study conducted by Harbor research division, majority of people perceive legal counseling as an exhorbitant service which leaves them with no alternative other than staying unaided and frustrated.

For that reason, the legal solution introduced by Harbor & Prestige is viewed as a results-driven method. Customers who seek legal counselling will incur minimal fees and no extra charges will be required in case of not winning the case.

Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) recently proposed a free legal advice service for buyers and sellers, an initiative that we applaud. We believe that this innovative policy will assist in boosting the confidence levels in the real estate industry.

Can you specify which particular transactions are scrutinised by your analysts and lawyers?

Guruswamy: The legal department is involved in overseeing all transactions not limited to primary sales, secondary sales, leases, registration at the Land Department verification of power of attorneys etc. Should a party to the transaction be a corporate body, incorporation documents of companies need also to be verified.

Neil: We do use lawyers for more complicated transactions and are working with one firm to do conveyance transactions.

O’Connor: We have standardised processes and procedures that govern every transaction. Our in-house legal advisor oversees all the legalities of these processes to ensure that all parties, wherever possible are secure.

Alwadiya: The legal services introduction is vital as the real estate market matures through the current economic crisis to become a more structured and regulated market. We obtain legal counselling for all our transactional activities in order to ensure providing our clients with a secured transactional experience. Needless to say, the more complex and high-end the transaction is, the more legal involvement we require.

Do you collect a deposit from a client in order to lock-in your clients?

Guruswamy: We generally do not encourage collection of deposits. However, should there be a delay in completion of transaction, a deposit may be collected by the agent to secure buyer’s interest and lock the seller to a commitment. In this case the agent takes up the role of an escrow agent.

In case of default, deposit maybe forfeited and returned to the aggrieved party. On successful closure of the deal, the deposit is adjusted towards the balance sale price of the transaction.

Neil: We only take deposits as part of a transaction and to secure the rights of the parties involved in a transaction, we don’t take it in to lock in a client. If the deal falls through, then the deposit is returned in the manner agreed upon by the parties at the time of signing the agreement. Sellers can no longer demand deposits and hold on to them.

O’Connor: We have now begun to encourage our customers to hold their deposit with a Rera-approved escrow facility, but in the absence of an escrow we take a deposit from the buyer as security for the seller.

Alwadiya: Accepting deposits from potential buyers or tenants is a common practice in the property market which is usually used as a closing technique or a gesture to test the seriousness of the potential client. More sellers and landlords are starting to ask for deposits as well in order to secure their interest in the transaction, especially when the closing date of the transaction is delayed for justified reasons such as releasing a property mortgage or finalising the transaction contracts or obtaining a date to conduct the transfer at the developer’s office or the Land Department.

We try to avoid retaining any deposits at our end as this is an added liability on us and it can place us in a conflict of interest situation as we usually represent only one part in the transaction. Having said that, we usually recommend that deposits are usually handed by a financial or legal third party entity with neutral position in relation to the parties involved in the transaction.

Do you maintain a separate account to receive agents’ commissions?

Guruswamy: Commission fees are payable to the agent by the parties involved and shall not form a part of the purchase consideration.

Normally, the purchase consideration is exchanged between the buyer and seller and the commission is paid to the agent. Therefore, there is no possibility of both of them being booked into the same account. However, should the agent be involved in collecting the booking deposit, it is booked separately into a designated account, which is distinct from all other operational accounts. Such payments are held on behalf of the buyer and seller and do not form part of the operational funds of the agent.

Neil: No comment.

O’Connor: We have an accounts department and we run a series of profit centres, most of which have commissions as the primary revenue source.

Alwadiya: Our company’s bank account is supervised by an independent certified accounting and auditing firm. Our internal accounting and finance resources follow the processes and guidelines set by this consultant/firm in order to ensure complete compliance with the best financial and accounting standards.

Rera’s colour-coded norms will not impact agent commissions

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Agent commissions will not be impacted under the colour-coded system introduced by Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) whereby brokers are authorised to sell a particular type of property in a specified area, according to realtors.

Natasha Pereira, Area Manager-Dubai, Sherwoods Property Consultants, said: “Areas such as Discovery Gardens, International City and Dubai Silicon Oasis generate lesser revenue than others. For agents who have been assigned these areas, we also give them (parts of) other areas to handle the sales and rentals as well.”

She added: “Our agents are already classified into specific areas and asset classes.” While some real estate consultancies said they were already segregating the functions of a real estate agent based on specific areas and asset classes, others felt now was not an opportune time to introduce the colour-coded system.

Avais Najam, Managing Director, Venture Horizon Real Estate, said: “There is already an oversupply of real estate brokers in the market since business activity is yet to pick up in Dubai. Further, most brokerage firms continue to employ real estate agents on a commission-only basis, rather than enrolling them in their companies.” He added many brokerage firms and agents were unaware of rules that require a colour-coded system and have sought more clarity on the system’s implementation from Rera.

Najam said: “We are already segregating our real estate agents on the basis of the territories they work in. Most of our agents follow a specific territory.”

Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director, Harbor Real Estate, said: “At the moment we are not ready for renewals of our agents. However, we have been following our own policies similar to that set out by Rera. All our agents follow the system. For example, for handling Dubai Media City, Internet City and Tecom areas, we have one designated person since these are all free zone areas. We also have a specific division that specialises in office space.”

In September, Rera announced the four-tier broker classification system whereby brokers were granted one of four types of licences authorising them to sell property of a particular type or in a specified area.

Under the new colour-coded classification, tier one brokers, those issued a blue licence by the Department of Economic Development (DED) and registered with Rera, will be allowed to carry out all types of brokerage activities and operate throughout the emirate, including free zones if authorised to do so by the authority. These have the widest sphere of operation.

Tier two or yellow licences will be issued by the appropriate free-zone authorities to carry out the full range of brokerage activities but will be registered to operate only within “designated” freehold areas owned by that authority. The tier three registered brokers, having green licences, will be authorised by the DED and registered by Rera, to sell only properties of specific companies or developers. The last tier of licenced brokers will be issued a red licence to promote, sell or rent time-share units.

This move by Rera is a step towards regulating professional services in the sector and enhancing rights of buyers, sellers and tenants. The agents also called for the “Agent Trust Account” to be put in place at the earliest to help further regulate the brokerage industry.

Broker firms in Dubai current employ legal firms to oversee some transactions into the account and help them manage accounts in cases where deposits may have been taken by the agent from the customer.

Najam said: “For us, all the commission earnings go into an account and in cases where we receive a deposit, we take on a solicitor to safeguard the client’s deposit money and see to it that it is secured and the transaction made is accurate.

“We sometimes take a deposit of about five per cent to 10 per cent to lock in a client. The deposit money can either be in cash or cheque. In such a scenario, we usually have a solicitor on board to ensure the transaction is valid.”

According to Alwadiya, Harbor Real Estate has hired a professional legal firm to audit its transactions.

Realty brokers get new professional status

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) yesterday announced an agreement with the Ministry of Labour (MoL) to have real estate brokers recognised as a new professional category.

Labour cards and residence visas issued to real estate brokers will now include their designation and henceforth not be categorised as “sales staff”.

Marwan bin Ghalita, Chief Executive Officer, Rera, said: “This is the first step towards a complete classification of real estate professions in Dubai.

“The practical objective is to make sure each real estate professional’s designation reflects what he does so buyers and sellers are clear that they are dealing with properly qualified, competent, licensed and registered professionals.”

He said: “The overall effect will be to increase transparency and professionalism across the sector. This in turn will boost confidence in property dealings and in the networks agents and third-party investors depend on to execute their transactions.

“Previously, there were no officially-recognised categories for real estate professionals and none was recognised by the ministry. Rera, as the custodian of these professional services, took the initiative and approached the MoL.”

“The ministry has now approved the first step of officially recognising broker as a professional category and this will be included in all the related professional and operations documents,” said bin Ghalita. “So when firms come to renew their registration and labour permits these will be issued with the new designation.”

Effectively, this step completes the three-stage formal approvals procedure of registration, licensing and now labour permit and residence visa to support the professional qualifications and training of real estate practitioners in Dubai. This compulsory system will take Rera’s campaign to outlaw “rogue practitioners” to its conclusion.

Rera has, as part of its agreement with the MoL, set up an electronic link direct to the ministry, which will allow the exchange of information to speed up processing of labour permits.

Humaid Al Rashid, Head of the Labour Affairs Department in the MoL, said: “We were only too happy to co-operate with Rera and to support it in its aims.”

Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director, Harbor Real Estate, said: “While the efforts to protect rights, lift standards of professionalism and establish a transparent framework are to be applauded in Dubai, there is still a long way to go before the industry can be said to be in the final stages of maturation.

“The new agreement between Rera and the Ministry of Labour to have real estate brokers officially recognised as a separate professional category is a step on the right direction.”

Hiba Jaber, Chief Operating Officer, Landmark Properties, said: “We support this initiative as introduced by Rera and MoL. We firmly believe that once professionals are properly categorised in accordance with their qualifications and credentials, investors and end-users will have a clear direction on who to contact when seeking help and advice from the professionals.”

Partho Bhattacharya, Director of HR, Better Homes, said: “This is a good step in the right direction where real estate agents will get recognition as professionals. The MoL must recognise the Rera certificate to grant a work permit. Such real estate professionals should not be asked for any other educational certificate for grant of work permit.”

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Secret Agents

Article from Freehold Monthly

Article from Freehold Monthly

Fania Telyaeva
Company: Asteco Property Management
First job: An accountant at a contracting company
Number of years in real estate: Three
First sale: A two bedroom flat in the Ajman 1 project.
Most difficult sale: During the crisis when everything was working against us.
Hottest property in the UAE: Palm Jumeirah and Downtown Burj Dubai.
Key to success: Positive attitude, persistence and learning from past mistakes.

Mohanad Alwadiya
Company: Harbor Real Estate
First job: Communications director at Leo Burnett
Number of years in real estate: Five
First sale: A two bedroom with study unit at The Greens in 2005.
Most difficult sale: Selling 41 units to an institutional investor during August-September 2009, the peak of the global financial storm
Hottest property in the UAE: The Address Hotel in Downtown Burj Dubai
Key to your success: A passion for perfection.

Andrew Covill
Company: LLJ Property
First job: Doing sales and rentals at a UK real estate company
Number of years in real estate: 20
First sale: A client in the UK turned up at the last minute and loved the property so much we agreed on a deal instantly.
Most difficult sale: A substantial bulk development purchase in London which took me all across the country before finalising the deal with the client.
Hottest property in the UAE: Marina Square, Sky Tower, Al Bandar, Al Muneera and Al Reef Villas, all in Abu Dhabi.
Key to your success: An open approach, professionalism, a determination to see deals through and a desire to have satisfied clients

Livia Anzaldo
Company: Fine & Country
First job: Sales director
Number of years in real estate: Almost three
First sale: October 2008, Jumeirah Village South apartment during Cityscape. Although it was a very small sale, during the downturn and I had been in the city for only one month.
Most difficult sale: A commercial unit in JLT. It was my first commercial sale and I was unaware of the rules attached to a sale of this kind.
Hottest property in the UAE: Victory Heights
Key to your success: A genuine passion for real estate, matching clients’ requirements, getting positive feedback from sellers and buyers, being able to listen to clients’ needs and creating trust.

Dawn Draper
Company: The Oryx Corporation
First job: With my father’s property development company
Number of years in real estate: 30
First sale: An off-plan apartment near Canary Wharf. I’d gone to meet the client to talk about a new design of a staircase. But he liked the area so much he decided to buy.
Most difficult sale: A property in the UK where the solicitor failed to spot a dispute between the developer and the council. It took over a year to get the sale through.
Hottest property in the UAE: Victory Heights villas and Emirates Hills
Key to your success: Build trust with your clients and never forget it’s their money you are spending.

Julie Morgan
Company: Ocean View Real Estate
First job: Leasing consultant for a UK-based company
Number of years in real estate: Four
First sale: A signature villa on Palm Jumeirah for Dh22 million in April 2008
Most difficult sale: I had a difficult time selling a Shoreline Apartment this year due to both the buyer and seller being in and out of Dubai on business.
Hottest property in the UAE: Arabian Ranches, Victory Heights and Palm Jumeirah.
Key to your success: Strong communication with my clients.

Sam Hussain
Company: Sherwoods Independent Property Consultants
First job: At Wind Property Developers
Number of years in real estate: Three
First sale: 38 units in the Mogul cluster in Discovery Gardens.
Most difficult sale: Selling the 51st floor in Lilac Tower at Al Qudra. I eventually sold it for Dh26 million.
Hottest property in the UAE: The one-bedroom units at Burj Views, and the apartments in Marina Quays.
Key to your success: Hard work, determination and mentorship from my managing director
Iseeb Rehman.

Susan Brand
Company: Better Homes
First job: Lecturer in physical education, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Number of years in real estate: Four
First sale: A studio in International City
Most difficult sale: While standing in for another agent a deal on a Green Community villa
was linked with a chain of three transactions. After much stress, we finally closed what had become the most stressful sale in the history of my career.
Hottest property in the UAE: Palm Jumeirah.
Key to your success: Work seven days a week, 24 hours a day. I want my clients to feel they have been given the best service and deal of their lives

Hesham El Far
Company: Coldwell Banker UAE
First job: At Nile Investments, now known as Naeem Holding
Number of years in real estate: Eight
First sale: A three bedroom apartment in Nasr City, Cairo.
Most difficult sale: Selling the hotel in the Onyx development in Dubai.
Hottest property in the UAE: Emaar towers in Dubai Marina.
Key to your success: Willpower

Claire Collier
Company: In Style Real Estate
First job: Junior reporter for a UK newspaper
Number of years in real estate:Ten
First sale: A one bedroom apartment in Hampstead, London, for £350,000 (Dh2.1million).
Most difficult sale: It once took me over a year to agree, exchange and complete on a repossessed studio apartment in Primrose Hill, North London.
Hottest property in the UAE: Tiara Residence on Palm Jumeirah and the Burj Dubai.
Key to success: Honesty, integrity, transparency, having a good network in the UAE and having experienced and seasoned directors as mentors are all invaluable