Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dubai Properties to launch 50,000 low-budget homes

A top official of Dubai Properties yesterday revealed the launch of 50,000 low-budget homes during the coming years, to meet the growing housing problem among the emirate's middle-income groups.

These affordable housing units will be a true mix of freehold and rental units, announced Mohammad Bin Braik, Chief Executive, Dubai Property Group.

"Although we are involved mainly in built-to-sell business, rental units give a continuous flow of guaranteed returns and provide necessary stability. We are not only building assets, but also building values for Dubai," said Bin Braik.

Dubai Properties has already built a sizeable housing project in Al Quoz area, which will soon be open for rent, he said, but is yet to elaborate on his plans for various housing schemes.

This seems to be good news for the 1.44 million population of the emirate, large numbers of who, stay in Ajman and Sharjah seeking cheaper alternatives, as most of the current projects cater only to high-income groups, leading to imbalance in the emirate's housing market.

House rent and increasing population continues to dominate the list of worries in Dubai, which has prompted the government to cap rents during recent years. A sudden growth in freehold market since 2002, led major developers to shift their focus from rental market to freehold sector. On the other hand demand continued to soar, pushing rents sky-high.

In the meanwhile, large numbers of government-built colonies and low-cost housings were demolished, reducing housing options for the middle-income and low-income groups.
Nakheel, a government-owned developer, has set up 'International City', considered as affordable housing.

According to a top property broker, the high rents at prevailing currently, are good enough to prompt developers to return to rental market, once the income rises up to the same level as that of freehold market.

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