What is your current outlook about Dubai’s property market?
The residential market is improving in several popular pockets such as the Marina, Palm and for much of Emaar’s product in terms of prices and rentals with the rest of the market showing signs of stabilising with modest increases of under five per cent. There seems to be a sentiment to buy rather than rent for those occupiers who can take the more longer view in job security.
For an international investor, is now a good time to invest in Dubai’s property market?
Now is a good time for the international corporate or sovereign wealth fund type buyer to invest in the market.
Would you say speculative buying in the emirate has ended?
Essentially speculators are not big players in the current market although some cash rich individuals are on the look out to pick up residential bank financed distressed sales. The main drivers in the present residential market are end users wanting to purchase rather than rent.
What should real estate developers in the emirate focus on?
Dubai offers a good quality lifestyle but getting overpriced is not clever going forward. A popular sector with opportunities for developers is the mid-range hospitality hotel market which is showing strong occupancy, provided room rates are kept at sensible levels.
What is your forecast for the medium /long-term future of the sector?
Affordability needs to be maintained and if that continues we can look forward to a sustainable property market in 2013/14 with manageable growth across all market sectors, which is good for investor confidence.