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.

Abu Dhabi villa prices expected to slide further

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Sale prices and rentals of villas in Abu Dhabi are likely to drop as fresh supplies are entering the market and a number of people are shifting to live on the outskirts of Dubai due to its “affordable rates”, said real estate officials.

Already villa prices have dropped in various projects. “We expect this trend to continue during 2010 as more units are expected to be handed over and the number of people relocating from Abu Dhabi to ‘more affordable’ Dubai continue in the short- and medium-terms,” said Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director, Harbor Real Estate.

Currently, in Al Reef Villas a two-bedroom villa goes for Dh1.1 million, a three-bedroom villa for Dh1.6m, a four-bedroom villa for Dh1.7m and a five-bedroom unit for Dh2.3m.

“Villa prices in Abu Dhabi are starting to soften as more units start to flow into the market. This trend has affected the attitude of landlords and sellers and has forced them to be more flexible when it comes to price points and payment terms,” said Alwadiya.

Penthouses in Dubai more resilient than other assets

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Penthouses in Dubai more resilient than other assets

Buyers of penthouses do not sell their property at low rates as their holding capacity is much better. (SUPPLIED)
of penthouses in Dubai have been relatively lower than other types of residential units as their buyers have the financial capacity to hold on to the units, realtors said.

However, owners need to offer “higher” discounts to find buyers in the secondary market since the product caters to a niche buyer segment.

Vineet Kumar, Head of Sales – Dubai, Asteco Property Management: “Buyers of penthouses do not sell their property at low rates as their holding capacity is much better since they are more financially stable.”

Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director, Harbor Real Estate said: “Penthouses in Dubai seem to be more resilient than other residential assets. Last year, there was an increase in the rental demand for penthouses in prime areas. This demand was mainly from high profile tenants who could take advantage of high quality units at affordable rates.

“In addition penthouses are limited in number, which has helped retain its value.”

Yolanta Farah, Associate Director, Head of Residential, Sales & Leasing, Group Seven Properties, said: “Penthouses are faring better than average units. More than regular units, penthouses are owned by end users as first or second home or guest house. These owners are not selling in current market, except in cases of higher necessity as part of property consolidation. Penthouses available on secondary market are usually not the truly special ones that a penthouse should have such as a top floor with a great view, good location and space.

“There is very little demand for any property at the moment, but there is hardly any availability of really special penthouses, either.”

Bernard Aoun, Manager – Residential Sales & Leasing, Better Homes, said if a client owns a penthouse it can be considered they may have a higher holding capacity.

“The penthouse properties have suffered just like any other real estate property in Dubai during the crisis. However, because there is limited supply they have survived better than the rest.”

According to real estate agents, penthouse prices have dropped anywhere between 25 and 50 per cent in the past one year. “The asking prices have seen a drop of 25 per cent to 30 per cent,” said Kumar.

“The selling price in secondary sales started from Dh2,000 per square foot for a penthouse in Emaar’s building in Dubai Marina. The recently released Executive Towers on Sheikh Zayed Road has a penthouse of 5,877 sq ft selling at Dh1,600 per sq ft amounting to Dh9.4 million.

Aoun said on an average, the prices of the penthouses in Dubai have come down by 50 per cent from 2008. Alwadiya said that prices of penthouses dropped by an average of 35 per cent since last year.

According to Group Seven Properties, some penthouses in Dubai’s secondary market are in the Golden Mile, with building number 4 developed by IFA going for Dh4.2m. Bayside Residence in Dubai Marina, developed by Trident at the 22nd floor; with a total area of 6,500 sq ft and a full Marina view is around Dh10m.

In South Ridge, Burj Downtown, a three-bedroom apartment of 3,003 sq ft area plus balcony with Burj views is around Dh5.9m. Indigo Tower in Jumeirah Lake Tower, a four-bedroom penthouse apartment of 3,745 sq ft area with lake views is Dh4.1m.

Real estate agents said that average return on investment (RoI) is between five and seven per cent for penthouses.

“We are looking today at between five per cent and seven per cent RoI, which in a depressed market is considered as a great return on investment,” said Aoun.

Better Homes also said average rental yields for penthouses currently are a minimum of five per cent in a case-by-case scenario.

Alwadiya said rental yields for penthouse is currently around three to five per cent compared to other residential assets.

“We believe penthouses can offer very handsome capital growth opportunities over the longer term. We estimate an average of 40 per cent in capital growth would be realistic over a six-to-seven year period and the downside risk to achieving this is considered minimal.”

Farah said while over-investment in real estate during 2008 put some people in trouble, those buying penthouses are generally educated buyers who know that buying the best in the best location is safer, regardless of market conditions.

Kumar said unlike the rest of the world, Dubai’s penthouses offer options to buyers to buy it as shell and core so buyers can finish the apartment to their liking with their personal choice.

Aoun said that it is not possible to compare Dubai and the rest of the world in terms of real estate because the emirate is still an emerging market where taste and requirements are often different.

However, Alwadiya said penthouses in Dubai are much bigger in space and offer better value for money in terms of price per square foot. “In addition, there are no property taxes in Dubai which makes owning a penthouse better,” he said.

“By international standards, the prices of penthouses in Dubai are low. Prime penthouses in Central London are being offered between Dh9,000 per sq ft and Dh10,000 per sq ft. In South Mumbai, it ranges between Dh2,700 per sq ft and Dh3,500 per sq ft and in Upper Manhattan it ranges between Dh8,500 per sq ft and Dh11,000 per sq ft.”

Farah said that in the pre-freehold times, in “old Dubai”, there were landlords who built penthouses true to their name.

Top picks

Tower: Le Reve Tower
Location: Dubai Marina
Project status: Ready
Developer: Sulaiman Al Bassam
Price: Dh18 million/Dh2,950 per square foot

Tower: The Residences
Location: Downtown Burj Khalifa Area
Project status: Ready
Developer: Emaar Properties
Price: Dh16m to Dh17m/Dh2,000 to Dh2,100 per sq ft

Tower: The Address Lake Hotel
Location: Downtown Burj Khalifa area
Project Status: Ready
Developer: Emaar Properties
Price: Dh16m/Dh3,555 per sq ft

Tower: Al Seef Tower 1
Location: Dubai Marina
Project Status: Ready
Developer: Deyaar Development
Price: Dh11m/Dh1,570 per sq ft

Tower: Bayside Residence
Location: Dubai Marina
Project Status: Ready
Developer: Trident International Holdings
Price: Dh10m/area – 6,500 square feet

Tower: Tiara Residence
Location: Palm Jumeirah
Project status: Ready
Developer: Zabeel Investments
Price: Dh9.5m

Tower: The Executive Tower
Location: Business Bay
Project status: Ready
Developer: Dubai Properties
Price: Dh7m/Dh1,000 per sq ft

Tower: Emirates Crown
Location: Dubai Marina
Project status: Ready
Developer: GGICO/Mohamed Saif Mohamed bin Shafar
Price: Dh7m/Dh850 per sq ft

Tower: Jumeirah Beach Residence, Bahar
Location: Dubai Marina
Project status: Ready
Developer: Dubai Properties
Price: Dh6.5m to Dh7.5m/Dh1,100 per sq ft to Dh1,200 per sq ft

Tower: South Ridge
Location: Burj Downtown
Project Status: Ready
Developer: Emaar
Price: Dh5.9m/area – 3,003 sq ft

Tower: Building No. 4, Golden Mile
Location: Palm Jumeirah
Project status: Ready
Developer: IFA Hotels and Resorts
Price: Dh4.2m/Dh1,000 per sq ft

Tower: Indigo Tower
Location: Jumeirah Lake Tower
Project Status: Ready
Developer: Jumeirah Properties Investment
Price: Dh4.1m/area – 3,745 sq ft

Tower: Lake Shore Tower
Location: Jumeirah Lake Tower
Project status: Ready and occupied
Developer: Al Bodor Real Estate Development
Price: Dh3m

Harbor Real Estate’s first Cedre Villas open house generated great demand

Article from Zawya

Article from Zawya

Demand for Villas and Townhouses is still very strong despite the current economic situation

Harbor Real Estate’s first Cedre Villas open house generated great demand

Harbor Real Estate, an integrated Real Estate Service Provider in Dubai, promoted several fully decorated units in the exclusive Cedre Villas in Dubai Silicon Oasis last Saturday. The open house day paraded Twin villas and Townhouses for sale and rent, and welcomed a large number of clients on the premises.

Clients who visited the project were excited about the quality of the finishing, layouts and architecture, the vast spaces, the overall serenity of the community and vigorously the attractive prices.

Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director of Harbor Real Estate, said: “Seeing is believing, presenting an open house is a great promotional methodology to attract potential clients, especially that the advantage is for the buyer nowadays. What we are witnessing here is a sign that economy have stabilized and individuals are confident to invest in well established properties that offer them real value for money”

“The project attracted buyers due to its potential when it comes to offering stable capital gains and above average annual rental yields. The attendees of the open house event included a diverse mix of nationalities. Due to the great results and high demand, we have decided to run another open house event on the 30th of January, where we will continue to offer our special added value package to the Harbor Real Estate clients” Added Alwadiya

Open house buyers will enjoy free maintenance for the first year in addition to 90% pre-approved financing up to 25 years and the option of 1 year in-house payment plan which will be offered to owner-occupiers.

The Cedre Villas project provides its residents uncompromised quality and 40% more space than any other villa in Dubai of the same type. The units entertain all tastes with 3 and 4 bedrooms contributing to multi-vibrant lifestyle amenities and smart homes facilities that answer everyone’s wishes.

Harbor Real Estate services have evolved from traditional real estate brokerage of merely bringing buyers and sellers together to innovative world class end-to-end real estate services. The company services include, Real Estate Tailored Research Services, Integrated Marketing Services, Sales, Leasing & Conversion Management Services, Real Estate Investment Portfolio Management Services and, Holistic Real Estate Legal Services.

For more information about Harbor and the special added value offers on Cedre Villas, please contact Harbor on: info@harbordubai.com

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Harbor Real Estate’s first Cedre Villas open house generated great demand

Article from Eye of Dubai

Article from Eye of Dubai

Demand for Villas and Townhouses is still very strong despite the current economic situation

Harbor Real Estate’s first Cedre Villas open house generated great demand

Harbor Real Estate, an integrated Real Estate Service Provider in Dubai, promoted several fully decorated units in the exclusive Cedre Villas in Dubai Silicon Oasis last Saturday. The open house day paraded Twin villas and Townhouses for sale and rent, and welcomed a large number of clients on the premises.

Clients who visited the project were excited about the quality of the finishing, layouts and architecture, the vast spaces, the overall serenity of the community and vigorously the attractive prices.

Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director of Harbor Real Estate, said: “Seeing is believing, presenting an open house is a great promotional methodology to attract potential clients, especially that the advantage is for the buyer nowadays. What we are witnessing here is a sign that economy have stabilized and individuals are confident to invest in well established properties that offer them real value for money”

“The project attracted buyers due to its potential when it comes to offering stable capital gains and above average annual rental yields. The attendees of the open house event included a diverse mix of nationalities. Due to the great results and high demand, we have decided to run another open house event on the 30th of January, where we will continue to offer our special added value package to the Harbor Real Estate clients” Added Alwadiya

Open house buyers will enjoy free maintenance for the first year in addition to 90% pre-approved financing up to 25 years and the option of 1 year in-house payment plan which will be offered to owner-occupiers.

The Cedre Villas project provides its residents uncompromised quality and 40% more space than any other villa in Dubai of the same type. The units entertain all tastes with 3 and 4 bedrooms contributing to multi-vibrant lifestyle amenities and smart homes facilities that answer everyone’s wishes.

Harbor Real Estate services have evolved from traditional real estate brokerage of merely bringing buyers and sellers together to innovative world class end-to-end real estate services. The company services include, Real Estate Tailored Research Services, Integrated Marketing Services, Sales, Leasing & Conversion Management Services, Real Estate Investment Portfolio Management Services and, Holistic Real Estate Legal Services.

For More information about Harbor and the special added value offers on Cedre Villas please contact Harbor on info@harbordubai.com

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Harbor Real Estate appointed by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority as the sales and leasing agent for the completed Cedre Villas project

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Cedre Villas offer 40% more space and best value for lifestyle

Harbor Real Estate appointed by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority as the sales and leasing agent for the completed Cedre Villas project.

Dubai, January 16, 2009: Harbor Real Estate, an integrated Real Estate Service Provider in Dubai, announced that it has been appointed by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority for the role of real estate sales and leasing agent for the 400 villas of the total 1,047 units at Cedre Villas project in Dubai Silicon Oasis City in Dubai.
The ready community villas comprises of Executive villas, Twin villas and Townhouses. Cedre Villas units, which are available for as low as AED 553/sq.ft, entertain all tastes with 3 and 4 bedrooms offering vibrant lifestyle amenities and smart homes facilities to answer everyone’s needs.

“We are thrilled to be selected as one of the few Real Estate agencies to represent the ready Cedre Villas project, this is a unique project with huge potential to attract local and international investors due to its high capital gains and annual rental yields.” commented Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director of Harbor Real Estate “The superlative project is built with the highest international standards at competitive rates. The villas of the Cedre Villas project offer 40% more space than any other villa in Dubai from the same category.” Added Alwadiya

Buyers can enjoy special discounts and value added offers that are uniquely presented by Harbor Real Estate along with 90% pre-approved financing up to 25 years and the option of 1 year in-house payment plan for owner-occupiers. In addition to that, residents will enjoy state of the art restaurants, clubhouses, schools and nursery, playgrounds, swimming pools, shopping facilities and supermarkets, including Spinneys

Commenting on the new partnership, Waleed Bin Shafie, Director of Real Estate Sales at Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, said: “The Cedre Villas project in Dubai Silicon Oasis is a landmark development which comprises spectacular villas. We made sure that our clients are provided with uncompromised quality and generous spaces offered to create not only a luxury home but also comfort with an edge.”

The completed homes at the gated community, which were finished by one of the leading construction companies – Arabtec Holding, occupy the best lifestyle money can buy. Through its strategic location on Emirates Road, the residents are literally minutes away from every major development, leisure community and business center.

Dubai Silicon Oasis is a wholly-owned entity of the Government of Dubai and operates as a free zone technology park for the semiconductor, microelectronic and other high technology-based companies looking to set up their regional headquarters and R&D facilities in the Middle East and Africa region.

Harbor Real Estate services have evolved from traditional real estate brokerage of merely bringing buyers and sellers together to innovative world class end-to-end real estate services. The company services include, Real Estate Tailored Research Services, Integrated Marketing Services, Sales, Leasing & Conversion Management Services, Real Estate Investment Portfolio Management Services and, Holistic Real Estate Legal Services.

For More information about Harbor and the special added value offers on Cedre Villas please contact Harbor on info@harbordubai.com

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Dubai’s properties need people

Article from Kippreport

Article from Kippreport

The emirate’s real estate sector can only pick up if Dubai’s population grows, says a new study. Transparency and better customer service are also essentials.

Dubai’s real estate market is facing a massive oversupply, and will need a quick growth in the emirate’s population in order to recover, according to the latest report released by property broker Harbor Real Estate.

“In 2010, oversupply will be an issue in the market. An estimated 60,000 residential units and 30 million square foot of office space are coming on stream by the end of 2011,” the report said, adding that Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lakes Towers alone were expected to see around 10,200 new units in the next two years.
Dubai’s population declined between 5 percent and 8 percent in 2009; the city will need to see a growth in its population to increase property demand and “kick start the industry again,” the report said.

It’s also not going to be easy to attract existing investors. Demand last year was dampened by the lack of available credit and the tightening of lending rules by mortgage lenders. In 2010, investors are expected to be extremely cautious, the report said.

“Gone are the days of the easy sale to the investor. Simply put, many people have been hurt by the real estate price correction. In effect, they have developed a risk aversion, which will take some time to overcome,” it said.

One of the key things essential to increase the confidence of consumers in the market is to increase transparency, the report said. Currently, laws and regulations about disclosure are limited.

“Investors, especially those from overseas, need to feel that their rights will be protected and, in case a dispute arises, resolution will be equitable, accessible and timely,” the report said.

The timely release of economic data will also help people assess the feasibility of their intended investments.
“Buyers, particularly those with cash are the new kings. This year, real estate professionals will need to serve the customer and serve them well. The main drivers of buyer dissatisfaction have been in the areas of knowledge, consultative ability and empathy. This responsibility does not only lie with brokers but also with developers who must ensure that end-consumer needs are understood,” the report said.

Dubai’s authorities have already started taking measures to regulate the emirate’s property market. Most recently, Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) said on Sunday that it has signed a new deal with the Ministry of Labor to officially recognize real estate brokers as a separate professional category. Labor cards and residency visas issued to brokers will now include their designation, instead of categorizing them as sales staff. The authority said that the move would help to remove bogus brokers from the market.

“This is the first step towards a complete classification of the real estate professions in Dubai,” Marwan bin Ghalita, CEO of RERA, said in a statement, adding that the move will promote “transparency and professionalism” in the property sector.

In 2009, Rera announced that property developers in Dubai will have to pay the complete land price before selling off-plan developments and will also need to inject at least 20 percent of the project’s value before beginning construction.

Late last year, the Dubai Land Department also said that it was planning to introduce a new law to protect the rights of property investors during the first quarter of 2010.

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Dubai Realty Challenged by Oversupply, Lack of Credit: Harbor Report

Article from Khaleej Times

Article from Khaleej Times

DUBAI – Looming oversupply and a lack of availability of mortgage are among the top challenges to a possible recovery in Dubai’s recession-hit real estate sector, said property broker Harbor Real Estate in its latest edition of the 
Harbor Report.

“An estimated 60,000 residential units and 30million square feet of office space are coming on stream by the end of 2011,” the report said. It said research conducted by Harbor indicates that, in the next two years, some 10,200 units will be released in Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lakes Towers alone.

“With relatively high vacancy rates in both property sectors currently, the property scene is facing some significant oversupply challenges. Any student of economics 101 knows that, in time, equilibrium between supply and demand is eventually reached. The third variable to this overly simplistic equation is price.”
The report said that the recent quarter-on-quarter five per cent spike in prices for Dubai’s residential properties meant that; “for certain investors seeking certain property types, the price is just about right.” Harbor said the price trends in the first quarter “will bear testimony as to whether this is the beginning of a sustainable recovery or a minor blip in the stabilisation process.”

The report said demand for property throughout 2009 was also hindered by a lack of credit availability, tightening of lending policies and the inability of potential consumers to comply with such policies. “In 2010, the increase in flow of credit into the market place will be gradual at best.”

In addition to not having sufficient funds on hand for lending, mortgage providers and investment financiers are still not in a position to fully and confidently assess the level of risk they can prudently assume, mainly due to uncertainty which surrounds the risk inherent in their current loan portfolios, it said.

The report also said that the last 12 months were quite challenging for anyone wanting to obtain a mortgage in Dubai. In response to the global financial turmoil, banks had tightened their credit policies, reduced lending ratios and increased interest rates. “It appears that the worst may now be behind us and lenders are once again opening up their credit policies. While obtaining a mortgage is still not simple, and may not be for a while, lenders are now more willing to consider applications.” Interest rates are also on the way down. The average rate is now approximately 7.5 per cent, down from about 8.5 per cent a few months ago, it said.

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Off-plan property sales are ‘dead’ and prices continue to slide.

Mohanad Alwadiya comments on property sales

Mohanad Alwadiya comments on property sales - Arabian Business.com

While he said there were signs of stablisation of completed properties in areas such as downtown Dubai and the Palm Jumeirah, Alwadiya said investors lacked confidence in the off-plan market, where prices have slid up to 50 percent since the emirate’s property collapse last September.

“In some areas, mainly in off-plan, prices continue to drop. This is natural,” he told Dubai Eye radio in an interview.
“Confidence levels in off-plan projects is very low. Off-plan sales are almost dead,” he added.

On a brighter note, Alwadiya said his company had seen 45 percent more buyer queries in the second quarter, than in the first quarter.

Property consultant Colliers International said house prices in Dubai fell 41 percent and 9 percent in the first and second quarters in 2009.

Dubai-based Harbor Real Estate offers property advisory services to individual and institutional investors.