Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shurooq completes 60% of work at Al Majaz Waterfront Development

The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), has announced completion of 60percent of construction work along the Al Majaz Waterfront Development Project, which form the central park of Sharjah on completion.

According to the Shurooq CEO, Marwan Jassim Al Sarkal, the Al Majaz Waterfront Development project work is progressing non-stop to ensure handover of the first phase of the project towards last quarter of 2011. Some amendments have been made to the project, including addition of certain amenities, with infrastructure works now getting complete.

According to Al Sarkal, about 4700 square meters of the project are available for lease to set up restaurants and cafes along the banks of Khalid Lagoon, opposite Musical Fountain, to be built in the center of the Park. Construction works on the buildings began in January.

Al Sarkal explained that as of now, the project is on schedule for completion of linking of the Al Majaz Waterfront and Khalid Lagoon and the semi-circular road and parking lots.

The next stage is the installation of giant musical water fountain at Khalid Lagoon, opposite Al Majaz Waterfront, and construction of several new buildings to house amenities including cafes, restaurants and recreational areas are to be established. There are special safe areas for children, to be developed as part of landscaping.

As for the final phase, Al Majaz Waterfront would include numerous amenities to make the development an integrated family park, which would be a top destination for visitors, tourists and residents. It will include open areas specifically meant for children, areas set aside for cultural and entertainment activities, modern architectural designed magnificent Mosque, special areas for jogging, cycling and walking, a sculpture garden, an arts area for children, a dancing fountain, public amenities, parking for 1000 vehicles and sidewalks.

Al-Majaz Waterfront, worth Dh.100mn is the result of Shurooq's efforts to encourage tourism and investment in Sharjah. The project, spreading across an area of 21,460 square meters, is located on the Khalid Lagoon, one of the most popular central locations in Sharjah.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dubai to receive 3500 new villas towards year-end

According to estimates by property experts, Dubai is likely to house about 1759 to 3500 new villas towards the year end.

One of the Senior Analysts at Landmark Advisory said that about 1759 new villas are likely to enter the market during 2011. This is exclusive of the major master developments that are currently on hold, including Jumeirah Golf Estates, Jumeirah Park, and the like.

According to Pooja Banwani, The Emirates Living Area Specialist at Harbour Real Estate, the figure could be in the range of 3000 to 3500 villas.

Cluttons reported that an estimate of 35,000 new homes will enter Dubai during 2011-12.

However, all experts agreed that villa prices have continued to remain stable during the past quarter, in comparison to apartment prices, which has seen only a marginal decline. Villa Prices has seen lesser decline over the past two years, than apartment prices. This trend is likely to continue as there is not much oversupply situation in this particular segment, say experts.

Although more villa projects may be delivered in Dubai, and there are chances for price declines, these villas will be easily absorbed by the market, and therefore, the prices of villas may again grow at a steady pace, says Pooja Banwani.

The latest report by Cluttons said that villa prices in popular locations such as Meadows, Arabian Ranches and Palm Jumeirah remained the same during the past three months. Meanwhile, the less-established villa locations such as Motor City, Victory Heights have all seen moderate drops of 3.6percent from the fourth quarter of 2010.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No more distressed sales in Dubai, say experts

Dubai is seeing less of distressed sales these days, and is moving towards stability, say realty experts.

The Director at PropSquare Real Estate, Faisal Baig, agreed that there are less distress sales currently in Dubai. Several of the clients have come a long way from the crisis stage.

The Dubai Sales & Leasing Director, Elysian Real Estate, said that over the past one year, there has been a huge increase in units sold under market value, largely due to the requirement by owners to release cash. The market has now stabilized, with Dubai real estate market in particular, leaving a positive note.

During 2009 and early 2010, investors, particularly speculators, were almost supplying their units at half the price. The investors themselves were ready to sell their units at just 30percent from original price.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New mega residential development likely at South Shamkha

A new Dh.7bn worth self-sustainable infrastructure residential mega development is likely to shortly come up at South Shamkha, located 45kms from the Abu Dhabi city. The new community will be the first of its kind in the Capital in terms of size, covering an area of nearly 4000 hectares. On completion, the development is likely to accommodate a population of 130,000 UAE nationals.

The Abu Dhabi government has handed over the project contract to “Musanada”, an Abu Dhabi General Services Company. The project will be developed under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Chairman of Emirate of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces.

Speaking about the project, the CEO of Musanada, H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Fahed Al Mehairi, the CEO of Musanada, said, the develop will comprise 12,460 plots, allocated towards local housing of nationals.

The project offers plots for shopping centers, commercial, educational, health, and recreational amenities, including a good public transportation system, a metro system, which can be linked to the capital.

Contracts worth a total of more than Dh.7bn, has been handed over to four companies, three being for local companies, namely Tristar Engineering & Construction, SaifBin Darwish Construction and Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting Establishment. The fourth joint venture is between the Beijing-based China State Construction Engineering Corporation and ARC Abu Dhabi Contracting.

Musanada will monitor the planned working of the development, wherein the contractors will oversee the planned progress of the work in four phases. The contractors have also been assigned a range of services including road works, sewerage networks, and potable water network.

Musanada was established in December 2007, to offer shared services to Abu Dhabi Government entities, so as to contribute to realization of Abu Dhabi’s aim to be among the top five governments in the world.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Al Mazaya delivers Business Avenue Towers units at Jumeirah Lakes

One of the largest real estate companies in the region, Al Mazaya Holding, is now handing over residential units of its Business Avenue Towers in Jumeirah Lakes, Dubai, it has been revealed. The units are being delivered to owners, following sale of two towers in the three-towered project. While 70% of the project has been sold, the company is in the process of leasing and selling the third tower.

The CEO of Al Mazaya-Dubai operations, Eng. Naif Al Awadi, when speaking about the Business Avenue Towers, said that the towers have been mainly designed to include the best in smart technology and communications, and forms a part of an integrated system that offers the highest level of state-of-the-art services. Further, the project is located at an area that is subject to Dubai's freezone laws, permitting the business sector to establish various firms that can meet its requirements.

The Third Tower will be considered for long-term investment, by management through a rental system, said Al Awadi.

Al Mazaya has already appointed a professional special services company to manage its services at Business Avenue Towers, and a Building Director to obtain approvals from official bodies when necessary.

Located at Dubai's Jumeirah Lakes, the Business Avenue is mainly meant for commercial use. The project comprises three towers with 45 storeys each, linked to a four-storey commercial center with premium retail spaces.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dubai to get 20,000 new homes towards the year-end

About 20,000 new residential units are likely to enter Dubai market towards end of this year, while rents in the low and mid-end apartments will see further declines, said Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

With about 7900 units being completed during the first quarter, the total residential stock at present has touched 317,200 units. With another 20,000 units ready for completion towards the year-end, the total residential stock will touch nearly 338,000, reveals the first quarter report of global real estate consultancy about the Dubai real estate market.

Towards the end of the year, the apartments will constitute 79percent of total residential stock.

The Director General of Dubai Land Department, Sultan Butti bin Mijrin, during his talk with the media, said that nearly 10,000 new houses will enter the real estate market this year. However, this will not add to the pressure on the local property market, he said.

According to JLL, Nakheel has recommenced its work on few stalled projects, and the first project is being financed under the RERA’s Tayseer Programme. This is an indication that the future supplies for 2012 could be increased.

At present, there are nearly 114 projects under this scheme. But, this trend could be compensated if RERA cancels about 90,000 units that it is currently reviewing.

JLL hopes that general easing of lending conditions, coupled with price stability in some areas will help in raising transaction volumes in 2011. Dubai has registered land transactions worth Dh.120bn last year, and it expects the market to perform better than the last year.

In the office sector, about 4.6mn square feet of space was completed during the first quarter, making the total stock touch 60.2mn square feet. The new additions were mostly recorded in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Business Bay, Tecom C and the Dubai International Financial Center.

According to JLL, it has been estimated that nearly 14mn square feet will be completed, although, the actual deliveries will be lower, as developers continue to face tight cash flow and current oversupply situation worsens.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reem Investments to build luxury villa community at Najmat

The Reem Investments has announced plans to build 42 luxury villa waterfront communities at Najmat, in Reem Island, Abu Dhabi.

Located along the southern shore of Najmat, the Nalaya Villas, will be a spectacular 16mn sq. ft. development on Reem Island, located 300mts off the coast of Abu Dhabi City Center.

The villas constitute three, four and five bedrooms available for lease directly from Reem Investments, which will be highlighted this month at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, the region's premier real estate investment and development event. The villas will be completed towards second quarter of 2012.

The development will also feature a private beach and park, offering a distinctive haven from the hustle and bustle of downtown Abu Dhabi. The community will be further serviced by a private clubhouse and swimming pool.

The Chief Executive Officer of Reem Investments, Bambang Sugeng Bin Kajairi, said that the residential villas have distinctive architectural quality and offer Abu Dhabi residents a safe and close-knit community lifestyle, and a sanctuary from the hectic city life.

The progress at Najmat is being made at a steady pace, with the Phase 1 infrastructure works already complete. The Phase 2 infrastructure works have begun, which includes creation of the beaches.

The visitors who arrive at the Cityscape Abu Dhabi event, to be held from 17th to 20th April 2011 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, will be able to collect more details about the Nalaya development at the Reem Investments stand, located at the entry to Hall 5.

Reem Investments, which develops, executes and manages investment strategies to expand core business of real estate investments, is also the master developer of Rawdhat, on Airport Road, Abu Dhabi. It is the first dedicated ‘develop to lease’ residential business and retail community in Abu Dhabi, which includes recreational amenity, a popular venue for sporting activities, and home to Manchester United Soccer Schools.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Abu Dhabi rents drop by 8% during Q1 2011

Rents in Abu Dhabi have fallen by eight percent during the first quarter, and with the new supply entering the market, this signals a further decline during the coming year, says the latest report from Asteco, the leading property management firm.

According to the report, the rents in the UAE Capital have dropped eight percent during the quarter, across villas and apartments, declining by a further five percent during the last quarter of 2010.

Rents in Abu Dhabi had grown considerably since late 2008, owing to a housing shortage. But, with Abu Dhabi having invested billions in the industry, infrastructure and tourism, so as to diversify its oil economy, it has attracted thousands into the labour force, thereby increasing the demand for housing.

The sale prices for villas have remained comparatively stable over the last quarter, with several owners remaining reluctant to sell, owing to market conditions. As for the apartment sales, a wait-and-watch approach dominates, owing to ongoing uncertainty and negative outlooks in rental yields.

Moreover, the investors remain cautious, as they are awaiting the stabilization of rental prices, Jones said. For those seeking to purchase homes, delays in handover, coupled with mortgage financing difficulties are likely to hinder transaction volumes. But, with several new property deliveries, and the improved economic performance by the UAE, there can be an improvement in the situation.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Deyaar delivers 595 housing units successfully

Deyaar Development has begun handover of 595 units in its three residential projects in Business Bay. It will be offering finance options to customers to help reduce the default rate.

The Vice President – Communications & Marketing, Lina Anani, said that the company has already sold all apartments in the three projects, and is not expecting a high default rate.

She said that she plans to reduce the default rate by offering easy payment plan, arrangement with banks for mortgage facility, and helping them resell or lease their apartments through the company’s property management and leasing arm.

She also mentioned that the company has not re-possessed any property so far, but, in case the investors defaulted, the company will take appropriate legal action.

The Mayfair Tower comprises 218 units, with 213 Mayfair Residency units and 164 Clayton Residency units.
Anani agreed that majority of clients have already paid 40 to 50 percent, and therefore the possibility of a default is quite less. Moreover, the developer has already begun working on establishing interim owners association as per the Strata guidelines.

The Deyaar CEO, Saeed Al Qatami, also said that with the handover of Mayfair Residency, Mayfair Towers and Clayton Residency, apart from Metropolis Offices, the company has been successful in handing over commitments towards first half of 2011.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Dubai to get only 10,000 new housing units in 2011

The Director-General of Dubai land department and property sector, Sultan Butt bin Majran, announced that about 10,000 new houses are likely to be completed this year, but, ensured that they will not add any sort of pressure on the local property market.

Clarifying the misleading information on the media lately, he said that there have been rumours doing rounds that about 40,000 to 50,000 new housing units will be completed in 2011, which is untrue.

Only about 10,000 new houses will arrive in the market this year, and they will not add to any market pressure, as the market can absorb them, given, the ongoing property sector recovery happening in the market, he clarified.

He said all the reports claiming delivery of thousands of new housing units are based on the assumption that there are about 220 housing projects that are under construction in the emirate, and they would be ready this year. But, these projects will require another two to three years for completion, he clarified.

According to Majran, the supply-demand imbalance in Dubai property market will be automatically corrected, and return on investment in this sector will continue to be strong, despite fluctuations.

Real estate prices in Dubai have returned to their 2005-06 levels, and are currently attractive for local and foreign investment. It will benefit the local economy, as even construction costs have sharply declined, he pointed out.

The market and prices are heading towards stability, despite some disparity in prices in the emirate, depending on location and type of project, he concluded.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

RAK property sector all set for steady growth in 2011

The real estate sector in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is all set to rebound from the regional real estate downturn, as experts have predicted a rise in sales and construction activities. However, prices are unlikely to touch pre-economic crisis levels.

Since early 2009 and during the year 2010, there was a decline in demand for properties in RAK, inline with the trend across the UAE and the whole region. Therefore, several developments were either put on hold or were slowed down, and demand dropped. Meanwhile, some buyers who purchased off-plan properties struggled to make payments.

This year, the situation however, seems to turn around, as there is a growing interest in residential properties again, while developers have begun to pick up activities on certain high-profile projects.

According to the General Manager at RAK Bank, Graham Honeybill, there is some confidence returning to the market, although the investors continue to be cautious.

He said that good properties in good locations are continuing to fetch good prices. But owing to oversupply, some segments are continuing to face problems.

Leading developer, RAK Properties, posted a rise in net profit for 2010, earning $51m, an increase of 10% over the previous year. The Company is also speeding up its work on the $2.7bn mixed-use Mina Al Arab project, and is hoping for additional growth in earnings for 2011.

The recent announcement by the Federal government about plans to boost infrastructure spending in the emirate is also likely to boost the property market in RAK. Nearly $1.55bn is likely to be invested to improve the water and power distribution networks in RAK and the other northern emirates.

Such improvement in utilities, coupled with planned upgrades to road links, will further strengthen the RAK’s appeal as a residential and commercial center.

RAK will soon have the same standard of services as that of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but with reasonable pricing, minus the congestion of either city.

According to John Heck, the Vice-Chairman of RAK Properties, RAK is best suited for those from other emirates, who wish to live in the calmness of the emirate and commute.

With the return of confidence in the local and regional economy, the RAK property sector is all set for a steady recovery this year.