Check out this fortnights’ edition of our real estate column in the Khaleej Times that concentrates on the mega projects that are boosting the real estate market.
propertyfinder.qa sponsored 6 awards at last Wednesday’s Time Out Doha Restaurant Awards 2013. We handed out prizes to the shining stars of the following categories;
Best Romantic Best Chinese
Best Seafood Best Newcomer
Best Steakhouse Restaurant of the Year
The event was a HUGE success and a great opportunity for the propertyfinder.qa team to show off our brand and network with Doha’s finest.
Keep your eyes peeled for propertyfinder.qa as we are taking Doha by storm and you will see plenty more from us over the coming months!
The event, sponsored by AX Properties was attended by the top decision makers from the real estate industry both from the UAE and internationally due to the large volumes of international business men and women being in town for the exhibition and the 3rd annual investment meeting.
Guests enjoyed a generous spread of cheese and wine with spectacular views the bar offers over the skyline of Dubai and the platform to network with the industry’s finest. There were also a few prizes given out including on and offline advertising inventory and a iPad Mini.
We spent three days this week at the International Property Show at the Dubai International Trade Centre that ran in parallel with the 3rd Annual Investment Meeting. We had a steady flow of customers to the stand and wowed all with our brand new look.
There was a great combination of both developers, and agents but local and International in attendance looking to capitalise on the current market upswing just before it takes off.
Check out our CEO & Founder Michael Lahyani’s regular real estate column in Khaleej Times newspaper. This week he talks about the ongoing mortgage cap debate…
Dust settles down on new mortgage rate limitation
After a couple of weeks of controversy and hand-wringing following news that the UAE Central Bank was about to implement tough new caps on mortgages, it seems there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
Central Bank Governor, Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, has calmed industry and public nerves on the issue by saying that no new laws regarding mortgages have yet been enacted and that there will be no sudden moves.
“What has happened here is a misunderstanding,” he stated last week “… we have not issued any circular or decision in this respect. What we issued was only an alert to banks regarding new rules and criteria, which they should expect.”
He made it clear that the central bank is currently preparing a new mortgage credit system with caps very much on the table, however, that the ‘alert’ to banks picked up by the real estate industry — who then rushed to their panic stations — was in order to prepare them for any changes, which he stressed would only be enforced after a minimum of six months and only after being carefully discussed with the country’s banks.
So was it all much ado about nothing? Not quite, as significant changes to the rules do seem to be on the way — just not yet. But it does go to show that everyone is still very much on edge when it comes to the delicate balance of this still recovering property market. One bit of possible bad news sends the rumour mill into overdrive.
The aim of any cap would be to put off the speculators who damaged the market so badly a few years ago and also to avoid a repeat of the situation of banks making large losses. However, most speculators paid in cash and the majority of bank losses were caused by off-plan projects being delayed or not taking off at all. Plus it was actually commercial projects, rather than the residential sector, where prices dropped the most severely.
According to media reports now, the authorities are planning to conduct a survey among the country’s 51 banks regarding a possible cap and the central bank’s board will then make any decisions — after all feedback is taken into consideration.
Representatives of the country’s bankers association are currently negotiating with the central bank various options for loans to deposit ratio on mortgages. Members have proposed different criteria for completed buildings and projects still in progress. In addition, the bankers are proposing higher loan to value ratios (LTV) for UAE national investors and expatriate investors.
We are all in agreement that provisions need to be put in place to secure the economic stability of this country — however, it is also crucial that people are not put off buying a home in the UAE as it is key to a thriving future.
I doubt any new measures will be taken in haste, despite the red flags that have been raised recently, as there is too much at stake and there have been too many tough lessons learned in the last couple of years.
The lengthy dialogues that are taking place now between the various governmental and financial bodies is a very good sign and indicates that whatever is decided will hopefully be in the interest of everyone concerned.
Now that our fantastic ‘Find Santa’ competition has closed we’re delighted to show off our lucky prize winners!
Pauline Forte – the winner of 4 Platinum cinema tickets (top left)
Aysha Saleem – the winner of a luxury food hamper (top middle)
Jocelyn Martinez – winner of brunch for 2 at Nahaam Restaurant, in Jumeirah at Etihad Towers (top right)
… and our grand prize winner who takes home an amazing iPad 3 – Charlotte Payne!!!
So, a big congrats to all of our intrepid Santa hunters.
And make sure you keep an eye on propertyfinder.ae for exciting new competitions in 2013…