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Making sense of Dubai’s property market
Kipp spoke to Jesse Downs, head of research at Landmark Advisory, about Landmark’s reports, Dubai’s real estate market and why the visa law needs tweaking.
May 4, 2009 2:21 by Dana El Baltaji
Kipp: What prompted Landmark Advisory to create the Sales Guide Map?
Downs: That was largely driven by the need to help our clients understand where the markets are at right now because it is changing very quickly.
Kipp: So you still have clients?
Downs: Yes. We’re finding that sales are picking up, especially in April.
Kipp: Why is that?
Downs: We’re finding that confidence is coming back into the market. We’ve already seen some early signs of that through sellers taking their properties off the market. Basically they’re finding their own price floors, or the price at which they no longer want to sell their properties. So they take it off the market and take a longer term view on the market.
So that’s a reflection of improved confidence. At least people are not panicking and investor sentiment has stabilized.
Kipp: Landmark’s rental guides are said to reflect the market’s conditions more accurately, do you think your guides will cause problems with Rera [Real Estate Regulatory Authority]?
Downs: We’re not trying to compete with Rera. We’re just trying to provide a service to our clients. In general, when they do put these guides and laws together, they do seek opinions of companies such as ours regardless, so irrespective of when and how we launched our rental maps. Rera generally works together with companies like ours.
Kipp: So there’s no competition.
Downs: Exactly. We’re not trying to be an index. We can’t be. They’re the regulatory authority and that needs to come from them. We are simply trying to provide transparency to the market, which is good for everyone.
How about their sentiment toward the Dubai government and its approach to property? Has it improved as well?
Downs: I think because of a few recent announcements it has actually been quite positive especially with the clarity around the visa issue. That will definitely help the market. Of course, a lot of details need to be ironed out in terms of the execution of that law and that will determine the actual impact on the demand.
Kipp: What sort of buyers have been coming into the market?
Downs: It’s mixed. It’s very much end-user and investor-driven in Dubai. In Abu Dhabi it’s a slightly different story. It’s increasingly end-user driven.
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