جريدة الخليج: 53 % حصة البيع على الخريطة في دبي خلال ثلاثة أشهر

سجل السوق العقاري المحلي في دبي بيع نحو 6350 وحدة سكنية خلال الربع الثالث من العام الجاري 2018، واستحوذت المبيعات على الخريطة على أكثر من النصف بواقع 53% (3366 وحدة)، وتصدرت كل من «الخليج التجاري» و«مدينة محمد بن راشد» و«دائرة قرية الجميرا» مبيعات الشقق على الخريطة خلال هذه الفترة.
وتصدرت «المدينة العالمية» و«مارينا دبي» و«دائرة قرية الجميرا» مبيعات الشقق الجاهزة بنسبة 32 % من مجموع مبيعات الشقق الجاهزة خلال الربع الثالث لعام 2018
أما مبيعات الفلل والمنازل الفردية الجاهزة فقد تجاوزت المبيعات على الخريطة في الربع الثالث من عام 2018 والتي تصدرتها «روعة الإمارات» (اميريتس ليفينج (و«المرابع العربية» و«داماك هيلز» والتي بلغت مجتمعة نسبة 30% من مجموع مبيعات الفلل والمنازل الفردية الجاهزة خلال الربع الثالث

استقرار سعري

ولفت التقرير المشترك بين «هاربور العقارية» و«بروبرتي مونيتور» إلى أن الأسعار التي تم تداولها للفلل والمنازل الفردية قد استقرت خلال الربع الثالث من عام 2018 على أقل من متوسط أسعار عام 2017، وضاقت فجوة السعر بين الشقق والمنازل المستقلة. كما اتجهت أسعار الشقق أيضًا إلى الانخفاض وبلغت في المتوسط نحو 1.2 مليون درهم في الربع الثالث من عام 2018. كما أن تداولات العقارات الجاهزة التي بدأت في منافسة أنشطة البيع على الخريطة للفلل والمنازل الفردية منذ نوفمبر/‏تشرين الثاني 2017، قد استمرت في اتخاذ نفس المنحى خلال هذا الربع

 
في غضون ذلك، وخلال الأشهر التسعة الأولى من عام 2018 استمرت تداولات البيع على الخريطة للشقق في التصدر حيث ركز المطورون اهتمامهم على تزويد خيارات منخفضة الأسعار وخطط الدفع الميسرة والمنافسة
والمنافسة والتنازل عن رسوم  التسجيل وغيرها من الحوافز الأخرى

الرئيسي والثانوي

وطبقًا للبيانات الصادرة عن «بروبرتي مونيتور» فإن 27% من سعر تداولات البيع على الخريطة للشقق خلال الأشهر التسعة الأولى من عام 2018 تراوح بين 1,200 إلى 1,500 درهم للقدم المربعة. وبالمقارنة فإن أعلى سعر في السوق الثانوي للشقق بلغ بين 500 و 800 درهم للقدم المربعة
واستمرت شقق الاستوديو والوحدات ذات غرفة النوم الواحدة في تصدر المشهد الأنشط من حيث التداولات في كل من المبيعات على الخريطة والسوق الثانوي في عام 2018 حتى تاريخه
في الربع الثالث من عام 2018 سجلت أسعار المبيعات في سوق العقارات انخفاضًا ربع سنوي بنسبة 1.4% و 1.3% للفلل والمنازل الفردية والشقق على التوالي. ومن المحتمل أن النشاط الاقتصادي الضعيف وتسليم الوحدات السكنية الجديدة من المطورين لاحقًا هذا العام، أن يفرض مزيدًا من الضغط لخفض أسعار مبيعات المساكن. وفي تلك الأثناء، فإن إعلان حكومة دولة الإمارات في عام 2018 عن لوائح التأشيرة الجديدة لمدة عشر سنوات وتأشيرة الإقامة لمدة خمس سنوات للأجانب المتقاعدين سيكون له تأثير إيجابي على السوق في الأجل القريب

أداء الإيجار

كان انخفاض أسعار إيجارات الوحدات السكنية أكثر وضوحًا في «دبي لاند» و«الروضة – ذا جرينز» وفي «روعة الإمارات» و«موتور سيتي» و«المرابع العربية» و«فيكتوري هايتس» و كان متوسط التغير على مدى 12 شهرًا نحو7%
ومن المتوقع أن يستمر انخفاض الأسعار خلال الربع الأخير من العام الجاري وبداية عام 2019 مع وجود خطط لتسليم مساكن جديدة بكل من الملكية الحرة ومجتمعات الإيجار غير المنتهي بالتمليك في دبي
ومع ذلك، فإن أثر ذلك على بعض المشاريع سيكون أقل وضوحًا إذا استفاد المطورون من محفزات الطلب الفريدة مثل الواجهة البحرية والتشطيبات عالية الجودة والمرافق المجتمعية المتميزة

المعروض القادم

جرى تسليم نحو 6,000 وحدة سكنية في أنحاء دبي في الربع الثالث من عام 2018، وتركزت غالبية عمليات التسليم خلال الربع الثالث لعام 2018 في «دائرة قرية جميرا» و«منطقة برج خليفة» و«تاون سكوير» و«دبي الجنوب». واستحوذت الشقق السكنية على أكثر من 72% الوحدات التي تم تسليمها. أما بالنسبة لباقي السنة، فستتركز غالبية المعروض القادم في مناطق «الخليج التجاري» و«دائرة قرية جميرا» و«مدينة دبي الرياضية» و«واحة دبي للسيليكون» و«تاون سكوير»

مهند الوادية: 1.2 و 1.9 مليون درهم متوسط السعر

قال مهند الوادية، الرئيس التنفيذي لشركة «هاربور العقارية»: «من بين الملاحظات التي برزت في التقرير هذا عن السوق العقاري في دبي للربع الثالث من 2018، هو أن متوسط الأسعار الحالية للمنازل المستقلة والشقق يبلغ 1.9 مليون درهم و1.2 مليون درهم على التوالي، وهي تقريبا نفس أسعار ما رأيناه في الربع الأول من عام 2008 وقبل انهيار السوق المالي العالمي
وأضاف الوادية أن الفرق قبل عشر سنوات أن كنا في طفرة نمو اقتصادية سريعة متسارعة، حيث كان المشترون يلاحقون المكاسب المالية السريعة في ذلك الوقت، لم يتوقع الكثيرون أن السوق كان متجهاًً نحو الانخفاض الحاد، على الرغم من أن بعض العقول المنطقية تنبأت بحدوث هذه الحالة التي كانت وشيكة

محمد عبيدات: مبيعات الجاهز تتحرك للتفوقعلى نظيرتها على الخريطة

من جانبه أشار محمد عبيدات، الرئيس التنفيذي للتكنولوجيا في شركة بوروبرتي مونيتور إلى أن الجميع يدرك الوضع الحالي للسوق العقاري ونملك اليقين بأنه سيتحول قريبا للاتجاه الأعلى. ونرى أنه، بالنسبة للعديد من المشترين، فهذا هو الوقت المثالي لشراء منزل في دبي وأصبح الحلم هذا في متناول اليد حسب أسعار السوق الحالية
وذكر عبيدات أن بيانات نظام بروبرتي مونيتور تشير إلى أن مبيعات المنازل الجاهزة قد تخطت في الآونة الأخيرة مبيعات المنازل قيد الإنشاء في المشاريع المطلقة مؤخرا، وهذا أمر منطقي لأن العائلات المشترية لا تقدر أن تقوم بالدفع والانتظار لبناء منزل وفي نفس الوقت دفع الإيجار أيضًا، فهي تحتاج إلى منازلها الآن، وبالتالي فهي أكثر ميولاً إلى شراء المنازل الجاهزة في نفس الوقت

Expert-Eye-11Nov17

3 factors that will influence Dubai reality

Cityscape is finished for this year and the headline results are impressive: A record turnout that showed a year on year increase of 25%; over 300 exhibitors requiring 2 extra exhibition halls; a new initiative to allow sales transactions to be completed onsite resulting in a 186 per cent increase in off-plan property transactions being registered with the Dubai Land Department during the period and the reveal of plans for the Expo 2020 site gave this year’s Cityscape some real gravitas.

I walked away from the exhibition with a feeling that Dubai’s property industry has just commenced one of the most important 3 years of its relatively young life since the post Global Financial recession and that this period will have clearly defined bookends, with the recently completed Cityscape at one end and the Dubai Global Expo 2020 at the opposite end.

So, what do we have to look forward to over the next 3 years? The obvious answer is the Dubai 2020 World Expo. The market has been waiting patiently for the positive effects that the Expo generated population growth will bring to the market to eventuate.

But there are other real and pervasive influences that we need to consider and observe, for they will have a significant effect on what happens in our industry leading up to the much anticipated 2020 event.

The first challenge is VAT which has fast become the most popular acronym in the industry today. VAT is not a new phenomenon. It has been implemented in many economies around the world and is considered an efficient and equitable way for governments to collect tax revenue. As oil prices have declined significantly, oil dependent economies require new sources of revenue to continue to invest, innovate, develop infrastructure and provide services that are required for sustainable economic growth. The IMF has predicted that the USE may improve GDP by as much as 1.5% by implementing a 5% VAT. Some countries have applied 20% VAT’s to generate the revenues required by their governments.

But VAT will have an inflationary effect on the economy as most items required for everyday life will be taxed. Salaries and wage increases will likely lag the introduction of the tax which may impact disposable income levels and affect the ability to save for a house deposit.

As a purchaser of a new home, your purchase is exempt from VAT, but the price will certainly be adjusted to cover the VAT that has already been paid on the value for materials, labor, marketing and other services etc. that the developer had to incur to bring the project to market, while, sellers in the secondary market will be exempt from VAT, yet still need to pay VAT on any Real Estate Agents fees, marketing fees, and maintenance or staging fees.

The sale of Commercial properties, however, will attract the VAT, adding to the cost burden of setting up or operating a business. Once again, consumers will eventually be affected.

The second challenge will be a strengthening US dollar. In an industry where at least 40% of purchases are made by investors that hail from countries whose currencies float freely, the postponed yet inevitable interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve, the effectiveness of US fiscal policy and the diplomatic, trade and geo-political effects of increasingly nationalistic policies are likely to present challenges in terms of relative value and affordability as property in other markets such as the UK, Asia or Europe become more attractive. This will be compounded somewhat as the on-going saga of the Brexit implementation is likely to carry on for some time, probably leading to a continuance of a weak British pound for the foreseeable future.

A strong US dollar will also impact one of Dubai’s fundamental and burgeoning economic pillars, tourism. A strengthening AED, combined with the application of the VAT, makes visiting the Emirate a more expensive proposition, particularly if currencies of other countries competing for the tourist dollar are weakening.

Finally, there is no denying that oil prices are very important. While the Dubai economy is only minimally reliant on oil for its GDP, the price of oil does have a strong effect on the levels of liquidity available for the property market and greatly influences the confidence levels of overseas investors in the region.

Somewhat conversely, there are those that believe, for variety of reasons, that the historical inverse relationship of oil prices and USD strength has changed. If so, we may be entering a sustained period whereby oil prices rise in sync with the USD. A positive correlation would certainly help offset increasing USD strength, however, it would make a return to a weak USD and strong oil price scenario increasingly unlikely.

We live in very interesting times.

 

 

 

Big_shift_to_affordability

Big shift to affordability – Property Weekly

Mohanad Alwadiya is the CEO of Harbor Real Estate, senior advisor and instructor at the Dubai Real Estate Institute – the official training and certification arm of the Dubai Land Department, and presenter/content producer of Memaar – the first-ever property reality TV program in the Middle East. He is also among the Top 10 best performing brokers in Dubai, and is considered one of the most celebrated and influential industry commentators today.

COMPANY

Tell us about your company.

Harbor Real Estate is an integrated real estate service provider offering holistic real estate services to individual and institutional clients

Harbor represents the new breed of passionate real estate professionals that develop innovative strategies derived from conclusions based on rigorous fact-based analyses tailored to deliver tangible results through the adoption and implementation of global best practices

With decades of experience, the Harbor team is truly exceptional, and has intensified its focus on what has delivered success to Harbor since its inception: absolute client satisfaction

Having built a team that is passionate while pragmatic,, creative while logical, and aggressive while accountable, the strength of Harbor Real Estate lies in its ability to create innovative solutions, and to work in partnership with clients as a trusted advisor and reliable executor of wealth-generating strategies.

Harbor aims to consistently set new industry benchmarks. With ISO 9001:2008 certification for its operational guidelines and processes, Harbor continually strives to set the highest standards of customer service

In 2015, Harbor Real Estate won the title of “Best Property Management Firm” in the UAE, and this was a great testament to our aspirations of being the leading property management firm focused on developing and growing institutional real estate funds. Our current portfolio is worth AED 14.8B.

What’s the best property deal you have had in the past one year?

Obtaining the exclusive property management rights for Emaar Business Park Building Nos. 2 & 4 which I have always considered as among the most iconic corporate addresses in Dubai.

How many new agents has your firm hired in the past year?

Our brokerage division is always growing, and we have hired over 20 new brokers in the last 12 months. We always have room for and actively seek experienced agents and property managers.

INDUSTRY

What is your outlook for the UAE property sector for 2016?

Dubai real estate has been undergoing a correction for some time now. We feel that the decline in values associated with that correction has halted or virtually halted in all market segments. 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.

What types of property are selling most in the market under the current circumstances?

The market has definitely shifted towards the affordable segment. We have witnessed a strong increase in demand for affordable properties from both end-users and investors as the value story is compelling. Gross rental yields of between 8% and 10% are still achievable in some areas.

What are some of the challenges unique to this market?

There are a few major challenges which are totally unique to the Dubai market. Real estate markets globally are feeling the effects of a general decline in global economic growth, and the ongoing issues associated with geo-political upheavals which exist on virtually every continent. The world is still, after some 8 years, trying to shake off the effects of the global financial crisis, and while some economies such as the US have fared reasonably, other major economies in Europe and Asia are still struggling with systemic issues. The resulting headlines affect consumer and investor confidence negatively, and we all know that confidence is a key prerequisite for growth in the industry.

What are the biggest mistakes you see buyers making when purchasing in the market that offers them good entry points such as the present Dubai property sector?

Being impatient and diverting from the 5 fundamentals of sound real estate investing.

1: Know why you want to invest in / own a property.

2: Set your objectives carefully as success in property investment or ownership can only be attained when (and if) those objectives of the investor have been realized. It’s as simple as that.

3: Think long term for your greatest success and happiness.

4:  Know your stuff… engage others to help you, but do be prepared to assess their performance.

5: Eliminate risks by planning conservatively.

ADVICE

What would you advise people who want to buy? What would you advise people who want to sell?

For buyers, the affordable segment is still providing very good value.

For sellers… it’s a buyer’s market, so don’t sell unless you have a compelling reason to do so. Selling because of a market correction which is part of a normal cycle is both short-sighted and wasteful.

What is your advice to agents who are struggling to close deals in the current market? What is your success strategy to lock in deals even in difficult times?

  • Be realistic when valuing a property; no false promises just to get the business
  • Hold firm to realistic values
  • Carefully assess the financial impact of every offer and counter-offer as an offer can, at face value, seem unreasonable, but further analysis can dispel any doubts
  • Be innovative in seeking solutions
  • Create competition. Market the property aggressively to generate competing bids

TRAINING

What type of training is mandatory for new agents?

The Real Estate Regulatory Agency and the Dubai Real Estate Institute 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 that will help elevate the standards of professionalism and effectiveness of brokers in Dubai.

Does your firm have a designated trainer, perhaps the broker or another experienced agent who acts as a mentor for new agents?

Harbor has always been big on training and we know it pays a huge dividend. Every one of our agents and property managers receives extensive and tailor-made training. Our rigorous internal training program includes industry, soft skills and specialized training courses that help our employees attain mastery in all the macro and micro aspects of their profession. We offer over 30 training courses every year, and each consultant receives a customized training plan that will help enrich his or her knowledge and skills. All our senior directors, including myself, are involved in this dedication to training, and it is part of our annual KPIs and targets.

 

PERSONAL

What motivated you to pursue a career in real estate? How long have you been in Dubai and why did you choose to open a business here?

I have always been passionate about real estate, and I am thankful that Dubai has allowed me to utilise my entrepreneurial skills to pursue my dream of establishing a world-class organisation to thrive in such a wonderful industry. I am immensely proud of what we at Harbor have created.

I have been blessed to have been in Dubai for over 30 years. I am of a generation that has been extremely fortunate to have witnessed and been part of the amazing growth and development that Dubai is now famous for. Any entrepreneur would be short-sighted not to participate in this economic marvel if he had the chance!

How has the industry changed through the years? Which significant events in the industry have left an indelible impression on you?

The most significant changes have been made in the structural area, and these changes have mostly occurred after the last Global Financial Crisis.

The increasing levels of governance, oversight and scrutiny that the industry has undergone has been instrumental in driving confidence back into the industry.  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, reveals a mature and balanced approach to shaping an industry which exhibits sustainable growth over the long term. The “free for all” days of the past are long gone and investor, not speculator, confidence underpins the market performance.

The Global Financial Crisis taught the industry a lot. Looking back, many real estate companies were not structured to deal with the crisis and had operated during a period when selling property in Dubai required little or no effort, and even less business acumen or professionalism. It was a sellers’ market of a magnitude that has rarely been seen before, and is unlikely to be seen again.

The recession achieved what recessions typically do… reveal the flaws and weaknesses of those organizations that had been conducting business with a limited vision or a short-term perspective. While the short-term gains may have been exhilarating, it typically came at the expense of long-term survival.

Harbor survived because we quickly realized that everybody was in the same boat, and we needed to develop a competitive edge. After all, that is what a recession is all about… survival of the fittest. It was tough, and there were many sleepless nights during this period.

Obviously, we needed to adapt to survive. This required a brutally honest assessment of our capabilities as individuals, and the capability of Harbor to continue to provide the services that clients required, but within a totally new business context emanating from what was essentially economic turmoil on a global scale.

We needed to make sense of the chaos, and we determined that the market required new solutions to meet new challenges, and I think this is the greatest lesson that we learnt at Harbor. Innovation relevant to circumstance will always prevail regardless of the circumstances. If the market is hot or cold, innovation will always provide the competitive edge.

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.

When your property yield is not enough

Post-recession, investors take greater risks to generate goal-satisfying yields

Dubai’s property rental yields have always been strong when compared to countries where rental income is taxed at high rates. With a market that boasts an average gross yield of around 7.0%, it has stood as a beacon for those who appreciate the structural and regulatory developments it has undertaken which decrease the risk perception associated with investing in the market.

What is gross yield? It is the income of an investment prior to deduction of expenses expressed as a percentage. It only measures the income as a percentage of the original purchase price and does not reflect the significant effects of underlying fluctuations in underlying asset values.

The ratio can reveal how accurately market factors were comprehended, analysed, forecasted and modelled when planning a particular development. It can highlight inefficient and costly construction methods and techniques, future price/revenue adjustment opportunities, and new segment or geographic concentration opportunities. It can reveal superior (or inferior) sales, branding and marketing techniques, or superior product attributes. It can highlight impending revenue and eventual margin pressure where yields appear a little too extravagant when compared to the market, or even highlight where an industry is with regard to its cycle.

The expectations of net yield will pressure gross yield and the cost of resources required to generate that gross yield. In times of tight supply, inefficiencies in construction, administration, maintenance and operating methodologies are hidden because elevated gross yields driven by excessive market demand are likely to drive acceptable net yields. But the real test of an effective yield management is when supply exceeds demand.

The capitalisation rate (or cap rate) of a property also comes into play. It is the rate of return on a property based on the income that the property is expected to generate. It is used to estimate the potential return of an investment. It may be calculated by dividing the net operating income (NOI) of the investment by its current market value, where NOI is the total revenue derived from renting or leasing the property, less all operating costs.

Put simply, cap rate = net operating income / current market value.

Given that the capital values of properties in Dubai have shown greater volatility than the income being derived from them, we need to look at the NOI being generated from the properties at today’s value. This allows us to see whether a certain property’s wealth-generating performance is improving or declining by referring to the cap rate. If the cap rate is declining, it may lead us to conclude that selling the property and reinvesting elsewhere will generate greater income even if the gross or net yield still looks very impressive.

Cap rates are used when establishing a client’s property portfolio. Real estate firms determine the lowest cap rate that the client should accept to make the investment worthwhile. Typically, they suggest a cap rate of between 5% and 10% depending on expectations of asset value fluctuations. As revenues are typically locked in courtesy of rental contracts for at least 12 months or up to five years for commercial leases, the ability to accurately forecast the potential and likely shifts in property asset values will be essential to establish realistic cap rates and form longerterm portfolio strategies.
There is another useful application of the cap rate. When you divide 100 by the estimated cap rate, you arrive at an estimate, expressed in years, which will provide an indication of the payback period of the investment. Caution must, however, be used when using this ratio, and it must be reviewed periodically as the underlying asset value and the revenues generated from the asset will always exhibit different rates of volatility

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Advice for hassle-free ownership

Mohanad Alwadiya is Managing Director of Harbor Real Estate and advisory board member and instructor at Dubai Real Estate Institute, the official training and certification arm of the Dubai Land Department.

A long-term outlook is important for property owners to maximise their investments

It seems that with all the new projects that have been announced over the past two years, Dubai’s real estate market is about to enter a new period of oversupply. What are your thoughts on this?

There is no doubt that developers have recommenced construction on many projects that were stalled during the recession, or launched new projects on the back of the market’s recent resurgence. Given the frequency of the headlines announcing new projects and the size of the developments being launched, it is easy to be concerned that an oversupply scenario may eventuate.

However, calculating optimal supply levels, particularly when emerging from a recessionary period, is challenging. It depends on an accurate estimation of demand for real estate assets, which will emanate from population growth. In Dubai’s case, this will largely be driven by overall economic growth going forward. In addition, one needs to comprehend a lag effect from the time that conditions conducive to development are identified by developers and when properties are completed and are released on to the market.

Given that Dubai’s economy is expected to grow at an estimated 5 per cent annually for the remainder of the decade and initiatives such as the World 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 estimates the number of people living in the emirate to grow to 3.4 million by 2020, or a 7 per cent annual increase from the current population of 2.25 million.

We take a minimum five-year view when trying to understand supply and demand. Taking into account the nature of the market’s resurgence, strong growth in fundamental economic drivers such as tourism and trade, levels of investment into infrastructure and initiatives, and stakeholder commitment to sustainable growth, we believe that while inventory levels may spike in the interim, they will not be excessive at the end of our five-year forecast period.

I own an apartment that is leased. The lease will expire in three months and I wish to refurbish the apartment and use it personally once the refurbishment is complete. Can you advise on any legal issues I might need to consider?

You need to consider the rights of the tenant. Law No. 33, Article 25 (2) provides protection to the tenant by stipulating the circumstances under which a tenant can be evicted. If the landlord wishes to demolish the property or conduct construction that makes it impossible for the tenant to use the property, the landlord has grounds for eviction. This would appear to apply in your case. However, if challenged, you will need to provide proof of your intentions, such as plans, contractor agreements, etc.

A landlord who wants to use the property himself or give it to next of kin also has the right to evict a tenant. He will have to prove that he does not have access to an alternative property.

The landlord must give at least 12 months’ notice of eviction and provide the reasons and necessary documentation supporting it.

Therefore, I recommend you advise the tenant of your intentions in advance of the upcoming lease renewal as he or she could choose not to renew and vacate the apartment. If this is not the tenant’s preferred course of action, at least you have abided by the law.

I just had a problem tenant vacate my apartment. How can I ensure I don’t get another troublesome one?

Bad tenants can make your life very miserable. There have been many reports regarding tenant rights but I feel the rights of landlords should also be recognized as much.

There are some basic steps you should take. Set a meeting to get to know the potential tenant better, including his or her lifestyle and employment stability. Try to figure out his or her plans for the future as such details can often give you an insight into the type of people you are dealing with. This will help you instinctively understand a person’s character. Trust your instincts.

Request references or contact details from previous landlords to identify any past issues with regard to the care of rental property or missed rental payments.

Obtain a letter from the employer stating the tenant’s salary and a copy of a bank statement. You should check for regular salary payments into the account, which should correspond with the employer’s salary statement and also determine whether there is enough to cover rent.

Obtain a copy of the tenant’s passport and visa. Check all details to ensure the person you are talking to is the actual lessee.

Use the standard contract form provided by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency. Once signed by all parties, it should be registered in the Ejari system, and you should ensure all cheques are signed by the party to the contract.

Finally, engage a property management company to take care of all the above (and more) for you. You will sleep a lot easier and stand a greater chance of realizing your investment’s potential.

I am new to Dubai, having started a new job six months ago. I am currently renting an apartment, but considering buying either an apartment or a villa for myself. What advice can you give someone new to investing in Dubai?

The first factor to consider is location as this can drive up to 90 per cent of the property value. The more established and prestigious locations such as Palm Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai and Dubai Marina and those close to the Metro will always command a premium, while areas such as Jumeirah Lakes Towers, The Greens, Dubai Sports City, Skycourts, Queue Point, Discovery Gardens and International City offer affordability and value for money. A lot depends on your budget and lifestyle.

Quality of product and maintenance services as well as the extent of completion and quality of infrastructure surrounding your intended home are important, along with considerations such as an owners association and its effectiveness.

With regard to the type of property, current and future supply of various asset types need to be examined. You should consult a reputable property broker to assist you with this. For example, villas across the board have out-performed other asset types because of supply shortages. However, when looking at the inventory pipeline, this may not be the case in the future with more affordable property likely to be in higher demand.

Financial planning is key. It’s important to know what you can afford in terms of repayments, whether you will need a mortgage, how flexible you can be should interest rates rise and what other demands may arise on your disposable income.

Finally, get yourself a good broker. As a newcomer to the Dubai real estate scene, you will benefit from the experience and knowledge that a good broker can bring to your property ownership aspirations.

wolfofrealestate

H1 2015… and where are we?

Mohanad Alwadiya, MD of Harbor Real Estate & Instructor at
the Dubai Real Estate Institute, the Official
Training & Certification Arm of the Dubai Land Department

For the past 6 months, headlines have been making many and varied references to the Real Estate correction in Dubai. This is not surprising as yes; indeed, Dubai’s Real Estate industry is in the midst of a correction. For many, the term “correction” is viewed with suspicion and trepidation, particularly those with a more tactical, less strategic, short term point of view. For those who are taking the long term perspective, the term “correction” is viewed with anticipation as the term refers to the elimination of systemic issues and making the necessary adjustments to deal with impacts of external issues on the efficient operation of the real estate market itself.

There is no doubt that a “correction” was overdue. 2013 will long be remembered as Dubai’s comeback year as the total value of Real Estate transactions reached AED 234 Billion, a 52% increase in the prior year which was clearly unsustainable as witnessed when the correction began in 2014 when AED 218 Billion worth of real estate assets were sold, a reduction of over AED 16 Billion on the prior year. At the time of writing, just over AED 63 Billion worth of transactions had taken place during 2015 indicating that the market is well and truly into its correction phase.

The market definitely benefitted from high levels of liquidity during 2012 and 2013. Capital inflows seeking safe haven from regional conflicts flowed strongly, however, they were sure to weaken and have. Geo-political events such as the wrangling over the Ukraine and  subsequent economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the West meant a rubble which was declining rapidly in value made investing in Dubai an increasingly expensive proposition for Russian investors who historically have been prevalent amongst the investing community.  In  addition,  changes  to mortgage  laws  also  dampened  the availability of capital for those investors wishing to use  leverage  to  capitalize on attractive property valuations and the  promise  of  high  and  sustainable rental  yields.  A slew of new projects being launched as a result of renewed developer optimism also placed pressure on liquidity levels and, eventually, prices market-wide.  Initially, launches were made with prices for off-plan units consistent and supportive to prices for completed units. However, with each additional launch competition for the investor Dirham intensified, leading to a gradual reduction in prices for off plan units making the risk reward equation more palatable for off-plan units versus completed units.  In addition, the shift of developer focus in response to the call for more affordable housing also meant that investors gravitated towards this, perhaps the most important structural correction in the market to date.

The  number  of  new  launches has been impressive, leaving many to question  whether  over- exuberance on  behalf  of  developers  will  result  in a  significant  oversupply.  Calculating optimal supply levels, particularly when emerging from a recessionary period, is particularly challenging. It depends on an accurate estimation of demand for real estate assets which will emanate from population growth which, in Dubai’s case, will be 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 completed and are released onto the market.

We at Harbor take, at minimum, a 5 year view when looking at equilibrium or imbalances in the market. When taking into account the nature of the markets resurgence, the strong growth in fundamental economic drivers such as tourism and trade, the levels of investment into infrastructure and initiatives and stakeholder commitment to sustainable growth, we believe that, while inventory levels may spike in the interim, they will not be excessive at the end of our 5 year forecast period. There will be around 11,000 villas, 7,500 townhouses and 35,000 apartments delivered between now and January 2020. While this may seem a lot, remember that we are a entering period where demand for properties, particularly those which are affordable, is expected to rise significantly and, given average current occupation rates are around 80 – 85%, there is not much margin for error in terms of satisfying expected demand.

Put simply Dubai needs people to support an economy that is expected to grow at an estimated 5%+ annually for the remainder of the decade and to deliver initiatives such as the 2020 World Expo. The Expo alone is expected to generate an additional 270,000 jobs and drive demand for housing and commercial facilities that, by and large, don’t currently exist. Much of the city’s planning comprehends the number of people living in the emirate to grow to 3.4million people by 2020, a 7% annual increase from today’s population of 2.25million.

There is no doubt that a stabilized real estate market will provide a much better launch pad for what will be a period of significant economic and commercial activity over the next 5 to 7 years. The structural shift towards more affordable housing will not only serve to accommodate the expected rapid population growth associated with the 2020 expo, but also serve as an important factor in the development of the Dubai economy overall.

Every emerging economy needs to develop a strong middle class as its expansion is critical to growing a sustainable economy and developing resilience in the face of external financial and economic shocks. In addition, for Dubai to compete effectively on a regional and global basis, it needs to ensure that the cost of doing business in the emirate does not position it as an outlier when entrepreneurs or corporations are considering alternatives for their operations. When taking this perspective, the correction could not have come at a better time.

Reality Check

Only the strongest will survive

The number of real estate brokerages and agents who operate within them will always fluctuate in accordance with market cycles. Wherever there is opportunity, those with a desire to capitalise will readily set up operations.

This phenomenon is not unique to the real estate industry and will occur any where there is economic opportunity coupled with relatively low capital requirements to start a business, where the skill set is not perceived as being particularly specialised or rare, and where there are minimal legal, political or policy barriers to launch a commercial enterprise.

However, in any industry, especially those yet to fully mature and develop such as Dubai’s real estate, there exists a natural process that essentially eliminates the weakest entities. Competition is fierce and only those that compete by applying experience, knowledge, skills, adaptive capabilities and business acumen will survive.

Put simply, as a market or industry matures, only the strongest survive. The cyclical nature of the industry facilitates this process by testing who can best capitalise on the opportunities in a growth market and who can best sustain operations in a contractional cycle.

So the fact that some brokerages are closing their doors is inevitable as the industry continues to mature, and the well-chronicled phase of correction the Dubai market is experiencing has played a natural role in eliminating the weakest players that cannot compete.

It is actually healthy for the industry as Dubai has too many brokerages. At the time of writing, there were 2,389 brokerages registered with Dubai Land Department. This is simply too many for the industry to support during the inevitable contraction or low growth periods. And one of the key drivers of industry maturation is to have fewer, but higher quality, brokerages and agents.

The levels of professionalism, quality and customer service in the industry still require a lot of attention. While good progress has been made by the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI) towards elevating the standard of real estate practitioners, too many poor performers remain, effectively hindering the development of the industry into the efficient and transparent marketplace we all desire.

Obviously, progress will require the continuance of the good work already done by DREI and Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), but improvements cannot be achieved by these industry bodies alone. All participants need to embrace the idea that a sector that is comprised of a body of professionals who are knowledgeable, conversant, proficient, ethical and highly motivated will play a significant role in providing sustainable and profitable growth over the long term.

Put simply, the more efficiently and effectively an industry operates, the greater the rewards will be for all. This requires better people, not necessarily more people. As industry leaders, it’s up to all of us to make it happen.

Unfortunately, to introduce a “foolproof” system is always very difficult, but there are some common sense steps that every consumer must take.

First, it is always essential to determine the brokerage is registered with the Dubai Land Department. If not, walk away immediately.

In addition, careful investigation as to the reputation, online presence and market visibility of the company should be undertaken along with a meeting at the company offices to get a feel of its size, resources and stability. In addition, ensure that any individual brokers you deal with are registered and ask for proof of identification.

Only when you are 100 per cent sure that the company looks safe, solid and trustworthy should you consider handing over any monies that may be vulnerable to misappropriation. Ensure you get a written receipt.

In some circumstances, usually where large transactions are being conducted, funds advanced may be held by third-parties such a lawyer or bank in a form of an escrow arrangement. This can help ensure that funds provided are only released when certain conditions are met, making it much harder for any party to misappropriate the funds. With the resurgent real estate market of the past three years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of brokers. However the rate of growth was highest in the first two years, slowing significantly in 2014 and now showing signs of decline. This is due to many factors including the tougher guidelines and policies that are being introduced by RERA.

There are stricter requirements due for introduction by Dubai Land Department as well. For example, the pass percentage for brokers taking the mandatory exam to renew their licenses has been increased to 85 per cent from the current 75 per cent. Emirates IDs will replace broker ID cards as part of a new smart system allowing all the details regarding an individual agent to be monitored, including when they change employers. This will ensure that only licensed brokers operate in the market. Any broker who does not officially record any transaction for six months will be warned and if no improvement is apparent within one year will be deregistered.

In addition, new brokerage firms in Dubai will be restricted from employing more than four agents. If the agency can demonstrate good performance over the first year, an additional broker can be hired.

The quest for improvement is never-ending and regulatory frameworks should always be enhanced, updated and improved to ensure the industry operates as efficiently, effectively and equitably as possible.

mohanad_propertyweekly

Property Weekly

Escrow law protection

With the recent flurry of new developments in Dubai, investors and potential owner-occupiers have been asking me how much protection is provided for the funds they are paying developers in advance. The conversation invariably turns to the concept of escrow and how this legally binding arrangement provides substantial protection for investors.

In its simplest form, an escrow can be described as a legally recognised 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 formal advice that certain previously agreed obligations of the seller have been fulfilled, upon which time the seller can receive an 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 specific purpose of protecting the prepayments made by buyers for properties that are bought off-plan. 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 for.

Anybody can open an escrow account but a developer must first be registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera), which involves providing an expansive array of documents, ranging from details of its officers and solvency, title deeds proving ownership of the land to be developed, and no-objection certificates (NOCs) from relevant parties such as the master developer, to performance guarantees backed by a financial institution and all planning and details about the project.

Rera requires the land subject to development to be fully paid for and a title deed issued in the name of the owner. Where the owner of the land cannot register as a developer, Rera permits the owner to enter into a property development contract with an existing registered developer to develop the project on behalf of the land owner. The development contract, however, must be approved by the senior legal adviser of the Dubai Land Department to be accepted by Rera. Only when a developer is registered with Rera can it apply to open an escrow account. When selling off-plan, the developer must ensure all proceeds of the sale of the units are deposited into the escrow account and are used solely for the construction of the project. Failure to comply with the escrow law can lead to hefty fines or criminal charges, which may result in prison sentences.

Once a developer has submitted all the required documents to Rera and is granted the authority to sell units off-plan, Rera will issue an NOC to allow the developer to open an escrow account with an authorised UAE bank.

The bank that will be providing the escrow service needs to understand all the details of the underlying agreement to ensure that it acts in accordance with its provisions. In this way, the bank can help protect the buyers’ prepaid funds by referring and strictly adhering to the conditions of the agreement.

But while the introduction of escrow as a legal requirement for developers has helped safeguard the funds of off-plan investors, there are other steps that investors must take to provide additional protection.

Buyers need to make sure they are dealing with a reputable developer, regardless if it is registered with Rera. One positive effect of the global financial crisis was that many suspect developers were exposed and forced out of business. Seek professional guidance, as those in the industry know who the reputable developers are. Ask the opinion of those who have transacted business with the developer.

Ask the developer what measures have been taken to ensure the end product is built to an acceptable standard and inspect buildings already completed by the developer. Warranties and quality assurance policies should be discussed in detail. Have the sales and purchase agreement reviewed by a professional to ensure you have legal recourse should any quality issues arise.

Upon completion you have the right to inspect your apartment and report any legitimate issues to the developer for rectification. Items that can be remedied in the short term should be fixed immediately. Remember: once you have taken possession of the apartment, the developer is obliged to fix any issues that would arise 12 months following the transfer of ownership.