Brits splash out on 1,500 homes in Dubai

Brits spent £440 million on buying more than 1,500 homes in Dubai in the first six months of 2012, according to the latest official figures.

But that only captured second place in the overseas buyer table as Indians bought more than 2,100 homes valued at £660 million.

Foreign investors purchased a total of 12,875 properties valued at £3.8 billion in Dubai in the first half of 2012, according to statistics issued by the Dubai Land Department.

Other countries prominent in the buyer list were  Pakistan, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the USA, Canada and Jordan.

Excellent growth potential

Majida Ali Rashid, who chairs the Dubai Land Department Real Estate Investment Promotion and Management Centre, said: “The real estate sector performance is moving from strength to strength over the past two years. The market has been attracting more foreign investors, which reflects the solid national economy and its excellent growth potential.”

The Dubai Land Department also issued data about the valuations of 1,090 properties £5.5 billion during the first half of the year.

The official valuations were requested by individuals, the courts and businesses.

Sultan Al Akraf, senior director of the real estate registration services at the Dubai Land Department, said that the figures reflect ‘an ongoing upside trend and a positive growth in the real estate market performance in the emirate’.

Dubai property auction

Meanwhile, United Arab Emirates consultants Asteco Property Management is launching an online property auction website to lure more international investors.

“The real estate market in the UAE, particularly Dubai, continues to draw a significant amount of interest from institutional and private investors from overseas,” said Elaine Jones, Asteco’s chief executive officer.

“Furnishing these financiers with the opportunity to invest in local property through a safe, secure and transparent online auction will undoubtedly make it more convenient and therefore even more popular.”

Dubai rents and prices up

Asteco has also released half year performance figures for the Dubai property market.with rents for apartments up by 6%and villas by 9%.

“After three years of declining rates and limited sales activity, the real estate market is on the way to recovery, with established quality communities showing increases in values and higher transaction volumes,” said Jones.

“Tenants are relocating in search of value-for-money, one- and two-bedroom apartments as well as three- and four-bedroom villas are the preferred unit types. In terms of rates, quality well managed developments, will continue to set the pace.”

Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai showed a 10% rent rises.

Prices recover

Selling prices for apartments were also up in Downtown Dubai (9%), the Palm Jumeirah (8%) and the Marina (8%).

Property prices have slipped from a peak four years ago to around 60% of the then values – but many industry observers see values as rehabilitated and the emirate a safe haven for property money.

Farouk Soussa, of Citigroup in Dubai said: “Perceptions are that the real estate market has bottomed out. If you are looking for more long-term investment, the market in Dubai seems reasonable.”