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Project ‘launch’ on social media triggers agents frenzy

By Parag Deulgaonkar
Emirates 24/7

downtorwndubaiA post on a social networking site by an ‘unknown’ developer launching a new project in Downtown Dubai has led to over 40 real estate brokerage firms scrambling to get details.

And that’s not just it. A few brokers claim in their response to the post that they even have investors ready to buy the project off plan.

Though the developer name is kept secret, the post reads: “We are a developer and we are launching our new development in the Burj Khalifa area next to Southridge.

“Our tower will be 22 residential floors all with Burj Khalifa views comprising studio, one, two and three bedroom units.”

The developer claims to deliver the project in December 2015, adding, “We are paying commissions and our pre-launch will be coming up within the next 10 days, all agencies who would like to register to sell our units are welcome to send me details.”

Average selling price per square foot will be Dh1,550, the developer says, asserting they are far more competitive than other developers.

Currently, prices in under-construction projects in Downtown areas start from Dh1,700 per square foot.

Top brokerage firms across the UAE have posted their response, seeking more information to even signing exclusive selling rights for the project.

“We are in the business of selling real estate. Something in Downtown areas does sell and prices that have been stated are very reasonable and hence there is this mad rush to get exclusive rights,” a senior official of a Dubai-based brokerage firm, who has also sought information on the project, said on conditions of anonymity.

Off-plan revival

The off-plan market, which was presumed dead after the 2008 global economic crisis, saw its revival when Emaar Properties, Dubai’s largest developer, launched its project in Downtown area.

Emaar Properties, in its corporate presentation, said over 95 per cent of the units launched in 2012 and to date in 2013 have been sold.

Last year, Dubai’s largest developer has launched the following projects: Panorama at the Views (224 apartments), Alma II at Arabian Ranches (62 townhouses), Casa at new Arabian Ranches II (253 Villas) and a new Address – The Address The BLVD at Downtown Dubai (533 serviced apartments and 200 hotel rooms).

In 2013, the developer launched The Address The Fountain Views I &II (566 serviced apartments), The Address The Sky Views I & II (515 serviced apartments), Burj Vista (648 apartments) in Downtown Dubai and The Hills (400 apartments) in Emirates Living.

Among the private developers who have been successful in selling off plan has been G&Co, a Meydan City sub-developer, which has sold its 198 luxury villas.

Rein in speculators

In an interview to an Arabic daily, Dubai Land Department Director-General Sultan Butti bin Mejren said the department plans to establish binding controls to regulate the re-sale of real estate in the emirate soon.

In 2012, DLD had told Emirates 24|7 that it did not have any regulations to prevent people from reselling (flipping) their property.

“The developer should discourage people from selling off-plan until the project has reached an advanced stage,” the department had said.

Global investors, primarily from Arab countries and Indian sub-continent, have been putting money into the realty market, thanks to UAE’s safe and secure investment environment.

Global Property Guide, an organisation that collates real estate data from across the world, said Dubai house prices increased at the fastest pace in world during the year to Q1 2013, in the list of 42 global cities surveyed by it.

Prices soared by 28.02 per cent, which was in sharp contrast with the 1.01 per cent year-on-year decline seen in the same period last year, the organisation said.