Dubai property deals hit $42bn in 2012 - gov't

(Image for illustrative purposes).

(Image for illustrative purposes).

The number of property transactions in Dubai increased 8 percent in 2012 to AED154bn (US$42bn) compared to the previous year, according to data from Dubai Land Department (DLD).

The emirate registered a total of 41,767 transactions during the 12-month period, DLD said in comments published by the UAE state news agency WAM.

Properties in Dubai Marina and Burj Khalifa were the most popular, accounting for around 25 percent of overall sales with 10,554 transactions worth AED17bn.

Real estate in Dubai started to show some signs of recovery last year as the emirate’s economy expanded and it benefited from its safe haven status amid regional political turmoil. Average prices increased 19 percent last year, according to property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle.

The recovery has prompted Dubai government and several state-backed entities to announce new projects in recent months. The emirate announced plans in November to build an even bigger shopping mall than Dubai Mall, alongside a complex of five theme parks.

Concerns that property prices could lead to another bubble prompted the UAE Central Bank to announce plans to restrict mortgages for expatriates to 50 percent of the value of the property and 70 percent for Emiratis. The central bank on Wednesday said commercial lenders had until 31 January to submit their feedback on the new mortgage law.

Investors purchased AED5bn worth of villas last year with AED2bn made using mortgages, said DLD. Land sales accounted for AED111bn worth of sales during the 12-month period, it added.

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