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Why Dubai’s mortgage market is set for change – A News

Dubai's mortgage marketThe recent proposal by UAE Central Bank to introduce a mortgage loan-to-value (LTV) cap – 75% for expats and 80% for UAE nationals – is one of the many measures that the government is working on to deter excessive borrowing, check the proliferation of cash buyers in the market who make up the majority of property purchasers in Dubai. Cash purchases have long since dominated Dubai’s real estate market – with cash-rich buyers usually acquiring properties to lease them out or sell them at an immediate profit – in contrast with end users who buy homes to live in.

Today, with sale prices and rents accelerating, people looking to are looking for better value for money – not just lower interest rates, but terms and conditions and exit fees. Mortgage companies are also ensuring that clients are thoroughly vetted before lending to them. While further information regarding the mortgage cap is expected to be announced in the fourth quarter of this year, industry professionals have shown skepticism regarding the negative effects the decree may have on the real estate and mortgage industry. Hence, it is imperative that a balance is achieved between keeping mortgage opportunities attractive enough to encourage end users to buy Dubai property and at the same time act cautiously to keep speculators at bay.

In another turn of events, Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) announced in August that it would offer UAE nationals mortgages worth 100% of their property’s value with regard to the Mohammad Bin Rashid Housing Establishment for a 25-year period. On a similar note, the government-owned Tourism Development and Investment Company partnered with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank to offer investors 100% mortgages for luxury residences on Saadiyat Island.

This year also saw for the first time, home financing of select off-plan properties to non-residents who wish to buy a property in Dubai as a holiday home or simply invest in a second home. Mortgage providers have also been extra cautious, examining and checking all aspects of a customer’s credibility and that of the developer’s as well. However, with the number of off-plan property purchases on the decline as compared to figures before 2008, this doesn’t seem to be a cause for concern.

Throughout the course of his year, the government has made tenacious efforts to build checks and balances into the system and arm mortgage providers with the information they need to make sound lending decisions. A good example would be the recent proposal by the Dubai government to set up a judicial panel to oversee the liquidation of stalled property projects in the emirate. Such a move will offer investors a viable alternative to time consuming and expensive court procedures and enhance investor confidence.

At the end of the day, people like to invest in a market where they know their rights are protected. While there is no doubt that Dubai’s property market is maturing and the double-digit growth a reason to cheer, the 2008 downturn has surely taught us that slower and steadier progress is far better than faster, unsustainable growth.

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October 24, 2013 um 5:33 am
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