Call for coordinated plan to kick-start property sales

CEO of MAG Group Properties urges gov't, developers, agencies to develop UAE strategy.
Call for coordinated plan to kick-start property sales
By Joanna Hartley
Sat 11 Apr 2009 12:01 PM

A UAE-based real estate expert has called on industry professionals, including government agencies such as RERA, to develop a coordinated set of measures to kick-start the UAE property market.In comments made on Saturday Mohammed Nimer, CEO of mid market property development company MAG Group Properties, called on developers, government agencies, investors, banks, insurance companies and brokers to stop working to their own agendas, and to join forces to get property sales moving again.

“Each interest group is having a modicum of success, but it would be far more effective if all interested sectors worked together,” said Nimer, whose company is involved in AED3bn ($816m) worth of projects in the UAE. “From investment and development right through to the hand over, we could manage the entire spectrum of the property cycle and speak with one voice,” he added.

Recent moves such as HSBC bank raising its loan-to-value ratio to between 70 and 75 percent, was welcomed by NImer, as were the decisions by other banks and developers to tailor repayment packages for buyers experiencing financial difficulties.

However these were isolated acts, which alone would have limited impact, Nimer said.

“In isolation these unilateral measures by individual organisations will have limited effect. For example, if a buyer can’t manage a 25 percent deposit the sale falls through. Easy payment terms are good news for existing investors, but they don’t address new sales,” he said.    

He also praised Dubai Government’s moves to extend the work visa expiry period so that redundant expatriates had more time to find work and so remain in the emirate.

There was also a role for the insurance sector to initiate redundancy/mortgage protection policies to help allay fears o falling into mortgage arrears with unforeseen job loss, he added.

“These initiatives all contribute positively in some way to encouraging property sales, but if all these effort could be coordinated and put into one package, the effect could be much more effective,” he said.

For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.