x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Cityscape spin-off Next Move Live to lure end buyers of Dubai property

More than 4,000 consumers are expected to descend on Next Move Live, the Cityscape spin-off property show this weekend as developers and agents hope to attract more end users.

Visitors looking at Deyaar’s scale model of Central Park at DIFC during the Next Move property show. Pawan Singh / The National
Visitors looking at Deyaar’s scale model of Central Park at DIFC during the Next Move property show. Pawan Singh / The National

More than 4,000 people are expected to descend on Next Move Live, the Cityscape spin-off property show this weekend as developers and agents hope to attract more end users into the Dubai property market to buy both existing and off-plan properties.

Next Move includes just 30 exhibitors including developers, estate agents and banks. It hopes to attract the sort of people who buy homes to live in rather than investors.

During the previous boom, Cityscape, which takes place in September, became a byword for crowds of investors pushing and shoving to put down deposit cheques for off-plan properties they expected to soar in value overnight.

“We have made this show small on purpose,” said Wouter Molman, the director of Cityscape Group, which is organising the exhibition. “We wanted to make sure that the majority of exhibitors here were property brokers because consumers want to be able to buy property that is ready to move into.”

Mr Molman added that so far around 4,000 had registered to attend the show – about 20 per cent more than the company had originally expected.

However, when The National visited yesterday few visitors were to be seen and most of those in the exhibition hall were exhibitors.

The attempt to tempt more ordinary people to buy homes in Dubai comes as real estate brokers across the emirate estimate that prices have risen anything between 22 and 60 per cent last year and are expected to return to their pre-crisis levels over the coming months.

It also comes as Dubai has witnessed a return of off-plan selling in the emirate where people put down payments on homes that will not be completed for three or four years.

Earlier this year the Dubai Land Department director general said that he expected house prices in the capital to rise by 35 to 40 per cent this year after climbing 30 per cent last year. He warned that the city was planning new rules to control speculation on properties that were sold off-plan before they were built to prevent Dubai experiencing another property boom and bust.

The Dubai developer Pacific Ventures reported that it had sold 180 of the 500 flats it was marketing since the start of the year – a number which includes secondary sales as well as off-plan flats.

The company is currently marketing around 40 flats at its Burj Pacific scheme in Downtown Dubai as well as between 12 to 14 flats a piece at its Jumeirah Village Triangle projects Pacific Edmonton Elm and Pacific Residencia. It is also about to start marketing its Pacific Village scheme of 167 villas and town houses, which it will also be selling off-plan.

“A lot of our off-plan sales have been to end-users, not to bulk buyers. You’d be surprised,” said Miguel Guadalupe, the chief operating officer of Pacific Ventures.

“People are investing now but they’re doing it cautiously via a construction-based payment plan because they want to wait. They think it’s safer than buying a villa that’s already built because if they change their minds it’s harder to get rid of the already built property than the off-plan one.”

“We have already started organising visits with some of the visitors who have come to the show earlier today,” said Abdulla bin Sulayem, the chief executive of the Dubai-based developer Seven Tides, which opened sales on 64 already built apartments at its block of 442 serviced apartments at its Anantara The Palm Residences during the show.

“We are open to three types of buyers; those who live in Dubai and want to make use of these luxury services, those who want to come and visit Dubai for perhaps one month a year and investors,” Mr bin Sulayem said. “Probably 75 per cent of our buyers are investors who do not plan to live in the property themselves.”

Apartments at the development start at Dh2.6 million.

lbarnard@thenational.ae