x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Should Dubai resident earning Dh30-35,000 buy property now or wait for correction?

JVC, Sports City and IMPZ recommended by expert Mario Volpi as great locations for a Dubai property investor.

Dubai Sports City is an area recommended for property investors. Jaime Puebla / The National
Dubai Sports City is an area recommended for property investors. Jaime Puebla / The National

I would like your opinion on the current real estate market in Dubai. Do you think it is currently exaggerated and would it be worth waiting for a correction? If you disagree, what areas would you recommend to buy in and from which developers? I earn a mid-range income of Dh30,000 to Dh35,000 and I am looking to make a property investment. MS, Dubai

Whether now is a good time to buy would depend on whether you are buying to live in or buying as an investment. If you are buying your own property as a home, then the best time to buy is always now. It is important to do your homework though and seek out not just the right property but the right seller too. There appear to be two types of sellers in the market right now: those who need to sell and those who would like to sell.

Clearly prices are high for some property buyers at the moment and a correction, for want of a better word, will only come from the sellers that need to sell as they will be the ones that reduce down their asking prices to meet the buyers’ level. The other sellers will simply wait until they achieve their price.

If you are buying as an investment, then you will be more price- sensitive than an owner-occupier buyer. Buying off plan would therefore be a good option as an investor, providing you are planning to hold on to it until the property is built or handed over.

In any property purchase, location is everything and again not really knowing your motivation or needs as a buyer, I can only say that the areas of Jumeirah Village Circle, Sports City and International Media Production Zone in Dubai are excellent propositions, if you are looking to buy as investment. These locations tend to have more apartments than villas so would appeal to smaller families in terms of rentals.

If you prefer a villa for yourself, and again depending on the budget, you should look at areas such as Emirates Living, Jumeirah Park or Jumeirah Village Triangle in Dubai.

To be perfectly honest, I believe that in the next six or seven years there will be a sustained period of growth for the property market so it may not really matter where you choose to buy. This positivity will be driven ultimately by the hosting of the World Expo, but before this showcase is delivered Dubai will be getting better infrastructure in terms of roads and transport like trains, Metro extensions and a new tram system.

Dubai is also positioning itself as a major tourist destination and this will obviously bring millions of visitors. All this traffic of people will mean that property is bound to benefit in the long term, and while I am sure that there will be bumps along the road, I believe investing in the Dubai property market should ensure you have made a wise choice in the long run.

I bought a property in March this year and wanted to move in. The property is rented and the tenancy contract is expiring in July. I have served the tenant with the legal notice to vacate from Dubai court. However the tenant has argued that the 12 months’ notice will start from exipry of the contract in July. Is this how it works? RK, Dubai

The notice period of 12 months can be served at any time. The English translation of Law 33 of 2008 Article 25 2C makes it seem that the notice is served upon expiry of the tenancy contract. The Arabic wording is clearer in this regard, and in reality what this means is that when the expiry of the agreement happens the landlord does not extend the tenancy again for the full 12 months but by only the remaining months to get to the 12 months’ notice which was served before. To clarify, you served your tenant notice (in the proper prescribed way) in May. The expiration of the agreement is in July, therefore two months will have elapsed by then. All this means is that you as a landlord will not grant another agreement for 12 months from July but only a 10-month contract as two months of the 12 months’ notice will have already elapsed by the time July comes around.

Mario Volpi is the managing director of Prestige Real Estate in Dubai (prestigedubai.com). He has 30 years of property industry experience in the emirate and London. Send any questions to mario@prestigedubai.com

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice

Follow us on Twitter @Ind_Insights