RERA to provide online reports on building progress

A team from Dubai's real estate regulator will visit sites to gather information for buyers.  
RERA to provide online reports on building progress
By Joanna Hartley
Sat 28 Feb 2009 10:22 AM

Up to date information on the progress of property developments, including whether a project has been delayed or cancelled, will be made available to buyers in Dubai as part of a raft of new government measures.

The scheme, run by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), will offer buyers monthly online reports of their property’s progress including photographs of how far along the development is.

Information will be gathered by s team of RERA engineers who will visit Dubai building sites to spot check on progress, according to UAE daily The National.

The scheme will cover 695 projects with escrow accounts out of total of 875 projects registered with RERA.

A limit on the number of new properties coming on the market, which will be achieved by curbing the number of government permits issued to developers, will also be introduced by RERA and other agencies.

The plans comes after months of speculation about the robustness of the real estate sector with estimates that up to 53 percent of developments had been put on hold or cancelled, as a result of the global economic downturn.

RERA is now looking to restore confidence in the industry after receiving more than 1,000 written and e-mailed complaints since January last year, according to Marwan bin Ghalita, chief executive of the agency.

“In a booming market, everyone makes mistakes. Now it is the time to regulate,” he said.

“Three years back no one wanted to come to us because they were busy selling and flipping property, but nowadays everyone says, ‘Please protect us’. This is our job,” Ghalita added.

About 31,003 units were expected to be ready this year compared with 29,319 last year.

However, RERA is planning to cancel 27 projects this year, making 29 cancellations in total that would see the expected supply fall by up to 20 per cent - a cut that could hit 40 percent by 2010, Ghalita revealed.

Dubai Property Investors Group, a coalition of more than 350 investors formed after sales began to slow last year, welcomed RERA’s actions.

“If it’s done properly it is excellent news,” said Nigel Knight, a co-founder of the group.

“People were paying 60 to 70 percent of their payments even through construction hadn’t started yet,” he added.

The monthly property development reports will be available from the RERA website from next month.

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