Desperate Dubai property developers offer creative incentives to expat buyers

Published:  8 May at 6 PM
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If you’re working in Dubai and considering buying a property, now’s the time!

Dubai developers are being forced to offer lucrative incentives to potential purchasers due to a slump in demand and the prospect of a further 50,000 new homes coming on stream later this year. Freebees, incentives and innovative new mortgage loan plans are all on offer on both ready-to-buy properties and off-plan purchases. The present lack of demand from expat investors and home-buyers is being put down to increasing uncertainty over expatriate futures in the emirate.

Incentives include an extension of post-handover plans for off-plan buyers of new-build homes, the arrangement of bank financing for initial down-payments and the extension of post-handover payments for terms extending to 15 or 20 years. Other offers are intended to tempt investors in Dubai’s buy-to-let market and include guaranteed rental returns. For those renting at the present time, rent-to-own schemes are being introduced. Creativity as regards perks is now the real estate industry norm in the emirate, as developers are being forced to compete with investment markets across the world.

Property experts and analysts in the sector are saying developers are acting like banks in a desperate effort to stimulate demand in a shrinking housing market, citing local loan-to-value laws which make finding expat finance for housing difficult to arrange. High fees and even higher deposits, it seems, are now putting off many would-be expat home buyers. In general, some 80 per cent of UAE expatriates are living in rental properties, even although they’re eager to become homeowners, with the innovative schemes now being presented by developers seen as away to get expat feet on the home-owner ladder.

In an interesting alternative development, private developers are now jumping on the bandwagon by offering seven-year payment plans on townhouses and villas. Deposits are set as low as five percent, and perks include no service charges for the first two years, no land department fees and possibly even free club membership for two years. All told, the ball is now firmly in expats’ courts as regards property purchase. As a result, the real estate sector as a whole now believes a sizeable number of Dubai residents will become home owners in the near future.
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