6 May 2020

Property Price Indexes for the UAE

Why build a price index? Real estate market participants want to know what is happening to key market indicators. Amongst these indicators, prices are the most important. Construction, investment, sales and portfolio forecasts and decisions all rest on which way prices have moved, and by how much. The recent history of a real estate market’s performance is a collection of […]
26 March 2020

Will Covid-19 have the same effect on real estate markets as previous pandemics?

Famous pandemics of history Plagues have marked human history, from the Black Death in the 14th century to the Great Plague in London in the 17th century and the successive waves that affected Islamic cities such as Baghdad and Alexandria in the 19th century. In more recent times, the most famous was the 1918–19 Spanish flu pandemic which infected 500 […]
25 February 2020

Mortgages vs Payment Plans – What is the better pick?

Buy with a mortgage In most parts of the world, developers have insufficient size and financial ability to provide financial support to residential real estate purchasers. Instead, banks and other financial institutions provide mortgages for those unable, or unwilling, to make purchases in cash. In the UAE, mortgages are limited to a loan-to-value ratio of 80% (for citizens), and 75% […]
23 January 2020

Retire in the UAE?

How easy it is to retire in the UAE? Easier as of this year, is the simple answer. There are now estimated to be almost three million expatriates living and working in Dubai alone[1]. An equal number are to be found in the other emirates and a growing number of those are approaching retirement age. Not all of them, by […]
25 September 2019

Interest rates, lending and the real estate market

What has happened Responding swiftly to the cut in interest rates by the US Federal Reserve, the UAE central bank followed suit in September this year with a reduction of 25 basis points to 2.25%. This is far from a historic low: interest rates in the UAE averaged 1.43% from 2007 until 2019, reaching an all-time high of 4.75% in […]
20 August 2019

Robots, Buildings and Investors: Corporate valuation for developers in the new era for real estate

Business valuation has always relied on the triangulation between three different methodologies: discounted cashflow (DCF), comparable analysis, and some form of dividend valuation approach.
30 July 2019

Methodologies for forecasting the UAE real estate market

The importance of forecasts Every well-planned real estate investment decision is underpinned by a series of market and site-specific forecasts. For a construction project, the most important are almost inevitably the projected sales price and schedule, and construction costs, whilst for an investment, it is future rents, eventual sales price, yields, and most probably, financial variables such as interest rates. […]
30 June 2019

The long-run view: demographic trends in the UAE

Real estate markets and demographics What drives real estate prices – sheer numbers or economic weight? Intuitively, all other things being equal, consistently higher rates of growth of resident population in a region or country will drive up real estate prices by comparison to its neighbours and competitors. The IMF once even advanced a rule that a 0.25% rise in […]
10 June 2019

The vital importance of market data for real estate market stakeholders

Effective market research, the lynchpin of successful real estate development and investment, is impossible without reliable data; without it, developers and investors face significantly higher risks.
30 April 2019

Real estate markets and stock markets: two stories, or just one?

Why does it matter? Real estate indices generally exhibit a much smoother and less volatile evolution than listed real estate return performance. This is explained by three data measurement issues: the impact of property valuations rather than actual transactions, the aggregation bias of combining results over time, and the effect of financial leverage in listed entities which increases the volatility […]
28 March 2019

Rise of the New Sectoralism

New sectoralism implies that the traditional real estate sectors, including residential and industrial, are no longer fit for purpose in the majority of international markets.
6 March 2019

Gulf Real Estate: Year in Prospect

Healthy macroeconomics: What ought to distinguish an economic from a purely market perspective on real estate is as close a focus as possible on why market variables are performing the way they are, as a guide to how much they are likely to change in the future. The starting point, as ever, is macroeconomics. Studies in OECD countries, which now date back […]
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