x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Housing demand on the rise in good locations

Most lenders are not enticing homebuyers with promotional initial rates.

Why are the banks lending again?

Lenders have better liquidity and appetite to lend. Prices in good locations seem to be stabilising and more and more end-users are looking at benefiting from good buying opportunities.

Is now a good time to buy?

Prices in good locations seem to have bottomed out. Rates are low and mortgage repayments are looking more affordable. A typical buyer these days is a senior executive in a large firm or a successful business owner. As confidence grows we expect the larger population to make the buying decision as well.

What can encourage UAE residents to become a nation of homeowners rather than a nation of tenants?

Lowering of interest rates has reduced mortgage repayments, which in certain areas has made it cheaper to buy than rent. A further reduction in interest rates will spur this demand even more.

Has the property market bottomed out or are lower prices still to come?

We have now entered an era where good locations are observing high demand. In Dubai the Springs, JBR, Green Community and downtown are a case in point. We have seen valuations edging up in these locations. The same can't be said about other less desirable locations.

What is the best way for the average house buyer to secure the mortgage and property they want?

There are a number of lenders with a variety of mortgage products targeting different customer profiles with different loan-to-values for different locations and developments. It is better to obtain an independent opinion on the most suitable mortgage and ensure that the funding is in place before a property is selected.

What are the best deals and offers available on the mortgage market today?

We are witnessing an emergence of tracker products which will go a long way in returning confidence to the market. Most lenders are enticing homebuyers with promotional rates for the initial period of the mortgage. Early repayment charges on settling the mortgage are also being removed. We also have four to five year fixed-rate products.