Eleven commercial and residential properties are set to go under the virtual hammer in the Dubai Land Department’s second eMart property auction in as many months.
On the same day Land Department boss Sultan Bin Mejren was reported as saying property prices in Dubai could increase by as much as 40 percent this year, the department said bids for the eMart properties would open this Sunday, January 12.
The first online property auction in December resulted in sales of more than AED74.5m ($20.2m) for 11 residential and commercial properties.
Sultan Al Akraf, director of first registration at the Land Department, said the announcement of the second auction showed the level of trust and increased demand for the new portal.
He said he expected a “polarisation between the various real estate parties and activities” given the intense interest in the first auction, where visitor numbers to the website in the first few hours exceeded 1,100.
The department has designated a space in one of its buildings for auctioneers and interested parties, equipped with screens and tablet devices and staffed by professionals who can help bidders use the online auctioning system, it said in a statement.
The portal also provided a complete and comprehensive description of the properties and their various constituent parts, including photographs, maps, and other details.
“This gives participants great flexibility and more trust in the auctions through the transparent nature of operations and the protection of stakeholder rights, the key tenets and primary advantages of eMart,” the department said.
On Wednesday, Bin Mejren said in an interview with Bloomberg that the department planned to introduce new rules to control speculation on properties sold before they were built in response to property prices increasing more than 30 percent in 2013.
He said the real estate authority planned to complete a review of off-plan transactions in the first quarter and may introduce new regulations in the second or third quarter, the report added.
Bin Mejren also said home prices this year may rise 35 percent to 40 percent.
“Transactions on off-plan properties are a little dangerous,” he said. “We are now studying them and looking at ways to ensure that they don’t hurt the market.”
Bin Mejren said the Land Department was also planning regulations to limit rent increases when tenants change.