x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Payback time for Dubai property investors

There is an increase in the number of erstwhile property investors in Dubai getting their money back on deposits put down before the market crashed.

Dubai developers are stepping up efforts to refund money to investors who put down deposits on schemes that were put on hold when the market crashed.

Law firms in the city are reporting an increase in the number of investors being offered some of their deposit money back on abandoned housing schemes.

HPL Yamalova & Plewka said over the past year it had assisted in getting refunds of about Dh10 million (US$2.7m) for "four or five clients" who had put down deposits for homes that were never built.

The refunds, all of which had taken more than three years to come through, were for between 60 per cent and 80 per cent of the original amount, the law firm said. "After three years of intransigence we have seen that developers are starting to negotiate with depositors over giving refunds," said Ludmila Yamalova, the managing partner of HPL Yamalova & Plewka.

"Some are even waiving penalties or offering better terms than they originally stipulated."

Jonathon Davidson, the managing partner at the law firm Davidson & Co, said more erstwhile property investors had received some of their money back over the past six months. "The market has recovered so developers who themselves couldn't assess their own economic positions during the downturn are now better able to make offers."

lbarnard@thenational.ae