Gulf State slowdowns affecting real estate sales

Published:  11 Sep at 6 PM
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Dubai as a must-have for expat professionals might now be more affordable as its property market stalls.

As economies in the Gulf States slow down, house prices and rentals are becoming more affordable for expats. Dubai’s developers are hoping to encourage incomers to invest in pre-sales in order to offset the fall in oil prices and currency problems. Standard and Poor’s earlier projection that Dubai rents and real estate priced would continue to fall over the whole of 2017 seems to have been accurate, giving expats the chance to bag a bargain.

Developers’ attempts to get sales going again are being ramped up as competition increases, with seasonal offers now the name of the game as regards giving the sector a much-needed new impetus. Sellers are reducing their original prices, especially in the Emirates Living developments in Meadows, Lakes and Springs as well as in the downtown area and Dubai Marina, all traditional expat locations.

Real estate companies are now offering attractive payment plans, paying land department fees, extending payment periods and aiming at investors looking for stable returns. A few real estate companies are aiming their revised services at the mid-range market, offering affordable options such as reduced deposits on less pricey housing.

Developers are challenging each other to offer the best plans, with thinking outside the box the best way forward in the present-day marketplace. Dubai is popular with investors from 136 countries due to its comparative stability within the region and its reputation as an international hub, although currency fluctuations have affected demnd by investors from the UK, Pakistan and India.

Meanwhile, the housing market in Saudi Arabia is now being affected by the kingdom’s austerity drive and stalled economy. Millions of expats are expected to leave the country over the next year or so, mostly due to being seen as cash cows by a government desperate to increase its declining revenues. The so-called expat tax is hitting hard across most expat levels, eroding Saudi’s former position as an expatriate tax-free haven. To date, the austerity drive has resulted in falling property sales and lower office and home rentals, with the former falling by nine per cent in this year’s second quarter.
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