DUBAI // Four multimillion-dirham properties in Dubai that went under the hammer this week failed to sell, providing further evidence that the UAE's appetite for new homes is still struggling. Only nine people registered to take part in Tuesday night's auction for three villas in Arabian Ranches and a penthouse in Jumeirah Beach Residences. Of those, only three actually entered bids, all of which failed to meet the properties' reserve prices. The public auction at the Al Murooj Rotana Hotel was a first for Madania Real Estate and attracted a crowd of more than 100 people. However, the majority were there not to pick up the keys to a new home, but to gauge the health of the market. Raymond Kuceli, Madania's chief executive and the event's auctioneer, said: "The buyers' expectations and the sellers' expectations had too big a gap, but we are really positive about the future. "There is a perception that if a property is being sold at auction it must be a distress sale, but that isn't the case," he said. "None of the sellers were in a position where they needed to sell quickly, and they wanted to hold out for a price that is more in line with their needs." Information about people who registered for the auction or who had arranged to see the properties beforehand will now be used to try and generate a sale privately. Although this is not the first time that property auctions have been held in Dubai, they have not been a regular part of the market. email@example.com
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