Morgan Stanley predicts end to property boom

Morgan Stanley predicts  end to property boom

DUBAI - Property prices in Dubai are set to fall for the first time since 2002 as a flood of new housing units reaches the market, according to a forecast by Morgan Stanley. In a research note the global investment bank said, “In 2009 a predicted excess supply could trigger price declines that will culminate in 2010.”

By Issac John

Published: Wed 6 Aug 2008, 11:35 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:49 AM

The report also said property prices that have increased 79 per cent since 2007 could drop 10 per cent by 2010. In a worst case scenario the report added that Dubai property prices could follow the pattern of Singapore in the late 1990s when property prices plunged 80 per cent in 18 months. However, the bank described this as a “low probability event.”

In the first half of 2008, Dubai property prices rose by 25 per cent, mostly fuelled by a growing expatriate population, speculative investments and construction costs, escalating by as much 50 per cent in 2008 first half alone.

'A potential oversupply or price correction here would, in our view, extend to all markets as investor confidence is shaken,' the report said. 'A sharper correction could have a ripple effect on its neighbours in the Middle East, with shares of 12 regional property firms dropping an average 35 per cent,' the research note said. Abdul Majed Najeeb, a property market analyst with M.S International, said being a trend setter in the region, the price drop in Dubai would inevitably have a ripple effect not only in the UAE but the whole region. Dubai kicked off the Gulf real estate boom in 2002 by allowing foreigners to invest in property.

Led by Dubai, the UAE accounts for around 60 per cent of the property boom in the Gulf countries. The total value of real estate projects under construction in the GCC is worth more than $2.4 trillion, according to latest industry research. Currently Dubai is driving the boom with a share of 47 per cent among the GCC nations but in the next tow to three years, Abu Dhabi will emerge as a leader to account for 14 per cent of the market in the GCC countries.

According to construction industry sources, somewhere between 15 per cent to 25 per cent of the 125,000 construction cranes currently operating in the world today are located in Dubai.

There will be 356,000 new household units — 202,000 in Abu Dhabi and 154,000 in Dubai — available in next five years. A survey by Al Mal Capital PSC, a UAE Central Bank-regulated investment company, however said the projected supply is not expected to exceed demand for the next three years.

Last month, Standard Chartered Plc said the property market boom in Dubai was showing signs of overheating as speculators betting on quick gains inflate prices of real estate still under construction.

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