Interest returning to Dubai property market - agent

Property agent Better Homes sees 15% rise in unique visitors to website in March.
Interest returning to Dubai property market - agent
By Joanna Hartley
Tue 10 Mar 2009 04:46 PM

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.

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