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Tue 10 Mar 2009 04:46 PM

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Interest returning to Dubai property market - agent

Property agent Better Homes sees 15% rise in unique visitors to website in March.

Buyers are coming back to the Dubai property market in search of good deals that have seen some walk away with 15 percent off the asking price, according to one of the longest-running real estate companies in the UAE.

Figures collated by Better Homes show that the number of unique visitors to its website increased by 15 percent in March this year compared with four to six months ago.

Increased interest in newly completed builds and resale properties saw one agent carry out an “unprecedented” 16 viewings in just one day last week, said Ryan Mahoney, managing director of Better Homes.

Even at the peak of last year's real estate boom just two or three viewing per day was the norm, he said.

“There’s a lot of shopping around, people are interested in buying and want to have a look at what’s going on, and viewing per transaction has dramatically increased,” he added.

Mahoney was speaking to Arabian Business following the launch of a new online initiative called “Make an Offer” aimed at encouraging buyers to put in bids for properties regardless of the asking price.

Since the campaign was launched two weeks ago 30 “real offers” have been made each day, with buyers going through to transaction securing up to 15 percent off the asking price, Mahoney revealed.

“The properties prices are already very low, with a market price of 25 to 30 percent less than six months ago in many cases, and in some 40 to 50 percent lower,” Mahoney said.

“What we are saying to buyers is make the offer today and get tomorrow’s price – rather than thinking ‘I’ll wait until the price comes down and then go for it’,” he added.

Dubai’s property market started to slow in August last year and slumped to an all time low during the winter months, when Better Homes saw enquiries dry up.

However, in the first week of March the company experienced its highest levels of enquiries during the past five months, Mahoney confirmed.

Reader 10 years ago

Just wondering if "viewing per transaction has dramatically increased", why did Better Homes make people redundant. Probably they should re-hire them asap and make more property consultants available for viewing.

Hassan 10 years ago

The real estate company is getting excited just for nothing as visiting any company website is not a new feature, i myself visit some websites dozen of times in a day...Moreover the people must be coming to the website for checking how much Dubai property market has crashed and not for buying...

fed up with all the rubbish on property 10 years ago

A juggernaut real estate company unable to come to terms with the reality that the good times have well and truly ended. Given the number of listings have increased dramatically no doubt all of these owners are visiting the website to discover if there property is still listed and if it is under offer. I have had my property listed with better homes for more than 12 months having picked the dramatic drop before it started . Unfortunately I listed it only with better homes and after being advised on many occasions not to drop the price I am now faced with 50% of the original asking price , negative equity and being asked to accept these "offers". My advice to other sellers is to multiple list, do not rely upon large one estate agent. If I had done this my property would have been sold and I would be sitting pretty with money in the bank which would have gained 25% in exchange rates gains!.

Hamid 10 years ago

I am amazed at readers mood swing. Just 6 months ago I was predicting a 50% drop in Dubai property value in within one year to whomever I was running into, and every single person would laugh at me and look at me like I am nut case. Now, only six month later, any hint of anything positive can happen in Dubai property market, is faced with ridicule and “wishful thinking” accusation. I can’t see any positive sentiment. I am amazed to the extent of this mood swing in just less than 6 months.

Saiyed 10 years ago

Well frankly speaking guys i will suggest hold on to your pockets and keep your money safe. Wait for another 3 months as rents are further expected to go down. One of my friend in real estate said i could get 2 BHK in downtown Burj Dubai by end of may 09...So i guess people visiting this company website fo regular checkup of downturn rather then upturn...

Jebel Ali Baba 10 years ago

Just because a website has more hits this doesn't indicate a return of confidence and demand. People are just checking prices and comparing conditions. This is pretty normal in this situation. But all property brokers I know say the same at the moment: NO SALES! And nobody will buy for just 15% less. Prices are way under this level already. So Betterhomes would be better off staying with the truth and doing their maybe future customers the favour of realistic facts and figures. Otherwise confidence will never return.

Maria 10 years ago

I can not believe that such a report comes from one of the leading real estate agency in here. I really feel sorry for them, they still do not want to admit their loss. Anything, even a website readers make them believe that they can steal people again. Wake up guys from your coma and back to real life

Snake 10 years ago

Just because there are inquiries for property at rather low prices is not an indication that the market is set to improve. There is still more room for the prices to drop. I have studied the DXB real estate market for years now, and I can tell you one thing, a meadows villa, true value for a 4 bed, should be about 2.2 million AED...FINISHED. Based on that, you do the math. The inquiries right now are really from buyers who buy distressed assets for a living...come on Ryan...you should know this by now! We're all going South for the winter this year bro...

Mike Charles 10 years ago

Mr. Mahony, you sound very much like me, when I narrate a fairy tale to my children. The only difference is that my audience is my children. Your audience is Dubai and the World (no pun intended) who are more mature and grown up. Why cant you narrate the realities and don't draw a broad picture from a one-off client who had 20 viewings in a day.

Property Guru 10 years ago

It's unbelievable, no. of visitors on the website is being used as a sign of interest in property market. It could be that people who have been made redundant from real estate jobs are using the time available "to stay in touch" as they may be out of country. Now, more sellers are visiting sites as they want to know what is the price that the other seller is asking for. They did not have to work hard earlier to sell properties. Better homes still mentions "minus premium" against discount word in their ads.I respect better homes as very professional company, but please stay professional and don't twist the logic. Someone might say, airports-flights-labor office-immigration are very busy these days, hence it's great. but they are busy sending people back. Bankers are busy - but asking for deposits. Follwing up credit card dues. Landlords are now busy finding tenants, fighting service charges. There are good and bad times and we can live and face both, but artificial coverup may lead to bigger disaster.