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Dubai witnesses highest real estate transactions in October since 2008

Dubai Land Department recorded 4,774 overall property sales for the month of October, the highest since 2008, according to real estate portal Property Finder. The emirate also registered 2,841 overall off-plan transactions last month, the second highest since September 2015 which recorded 3,258 deals, the portal said in a statement. “There are currently many different dynamics in the market. Recently, the UAE Central Bank has removed the 70-year age limit for the last mortgage repayment and they also lifted the 20 percent cap on real estate lending for banks,” said Lynnette Abad, Director of Data and Research, Property Finder.

“There is a lot of new supply in the market that is priced affordably and as we get closer to Expo 2020, we have seen many consumers decide this is the right time to buy. This is an indication of consumer confidence in the market leading to 2020,” she added.

Last month, the UAE central bank proposed new regulatory measures to improve flexibility for banks lending to the real estate sector. The redesigned measures also aim to ensure that banks with higher real estate exposures will be subject to “supplemental regulatory requirements,” Reuters reported citing a central bank statement.

The UAE’s bank lobby is proposing limits on bank lending to real estate to protect them from being overexposed to the sector, the head of the UAE Banks Federation said

Real estate and construction accounted for about 20% of gross loans at end of the first quarter, according to central bank data. Fitch Ratings said in a recent report the true exposure is higher as the data excludes retail mortgage lending and some lending to investment companies that finance development. 

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