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Wed 15 Aug 2012 03:50 PM

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Asteco to launch online property auctions

UAE-based real estate firm will offer service alongside US-based brokerage firm

Asteco to launch online property auctions
(Image for illustrative purposes)

UAE-based real estate consultant Asteco Property Management plans to launch an online property auction website in a bid to lure more international investors to the Gulf state’s property market.

Asteco, which has been operating in the UAE since 1985, said it had signed a deal with US-based LFC International Real Estate Brokerage to offer the service.

“The real estate market in the UAE, particularly Dubai, continues to draw a significant amount of interest from institutional and private investors from overseas,” said Elaine Jones, CEO, Asteco Property Management said in a statement.

“Furnishing these financiers with the opportunity to invest in local property through a safe, secure and transparent online auction will undoubtedly make it more convenient and therefore even more popular,” she added.

LFC International Real Estate Brokerage in April said it would handle the online auction for the sale of an entire corporate floor in the Burj Khalifa. The auction, the first of its kind in the emirate, set a minimum purchase price for the 110th floor at US$5.4m.

A spokesperson for the group said in May that 40 investors had signed up to take part in the sale but the US-based firm declined to comment on the conclusion of the sale when contacted by Arabian Business.

Dubai’s property sector was hit hard by the downturn, with billions of dollars worth of projects put on hold or cancelled, while property prices slumped as much as 60 percent. Real estate prices in some areas are starting to show some signs of recovery, in part due the emirate’s status as a safe haven.

Foreign investors snapped up AED22bn (US$5.98bn) worth of real estate investments during the first half of 2012, according to data from the emirate’s Land Department.

Foreign investors’ deals in freehold projects in Dubai were dominated by Indians, who purchased 2,153 properties valued at AED3.751bn while Pakistanis came second with a total of 1,814 properties at AED1.713bn. British buyers ranked third followed by Iranian and Russian investors.

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