Dubai Real Estate Rollercoaster

Several recent articles by kippreport are worth reading wherever you sit on the subject:

  • Negative equity hurts: details of a survey of property owners, how many would lost money if they sold now, how many feel they might not be able to make their next payments.
  • A law unto themselves: says the Dubai Governmnent is amending a law related to developers, defaults and cancellations and that a list of cancelled projects may soon be issued by the Real Estate Regulator Authority.
  • Everything’s falling- property, prices and people: quotes an EFG-Hermes  report that says  “We expect a sharp deceleration in private consumption growth, lower tourist arrivals and lower retail spending, resulting in an overall weaker economic outlook [for Dubai].” And: “We forecast negative net population growth in Dubai in 2009 with the population declining to 1.49 million from 1.79 million in 2008 (17 percent decline).”

Some say that if you’re in the market for a property, now might well be a good time to buy in Dubai.

Property prices have declined substantially over the last six months, that’s clear from the weekly emails I get from various agents. But this week’s lists of available properties were a good 50 per cent shorter than last week’s.

That could be in part because marketeers are coming up with some creative responses to the sluggish market.

Better Homes, for example, one of Dubai’s oldest and still most trusted real estate companies, has implemented an interesting new marketing strategy to motivate buyers.

They’ve added  “Make an offer” functionality to their website – it’s billed as “a new feature which enables you to tempt owners with an immediate price.”

The online blurb that follows the pitch says:

Rather than hoping for prices to fall further, why not offer tomorrow’s price today? Now you can get ahead of the price curve with the new Make an Offer feature, which enables you to submit a price at which you would buy a specific property.

I think it’s innovative and clever. More important, it prompted me to take action: I actually scrolled through their listings… The prices are still a little rich for my blood, but maybe not for long…

I’ve never been one for rollercoasters… I wonder if this is this the time to take a ride?