Twice as many UAE residents are looking for home loans

Twice as many UAE residents are looking for home loans
There was a 119 per cent increase in people searching for mortgages between the third quarter of 2015 and the third quarter of 2016.

dubai - People are looking to take advantage of low prices in the property market



By Jon Richards

Published: Tue 11 Oct 2016, 2:56 PM

Last updated: Tue 11 Oct 2016, 5:01 PM

It's exciting times in the Dubai real estate market. This year, we've had a host of new housing developments come online, and property giants have shown off plans for plenty more projects, which should be ready in time for Expo 2020. You have Damac's Akoya project, which this week had the Akoya Selfie golf community added to its ranks; you have the affordable apartment projects from Danube; and you have the glitz and glamour of headline developments from the likes of Emaar.

Small wonder then that with all these projects coming onto the market, the head of Danube Properties recently declared that now has never been a better time to buy property in Dubai. You could take his words with a pinch of salt - after all, he has housing units to sell - but you can't deny the fact that more supply has been added to the market, and that usually results in better prices for buyers.

And according to what we're seeing in the market, UAE residents are more interested than ever in buying property. Based on statistics gleaned from compareit4me.com's home loan platform, there was a 119 per cent increase in people searching for mortgages between the third quarter of 2015 and the third quarter of 2016. This means that, compared to this time last year, more than twice as many people are looking for home loans.

It seems people are looking to take advantage of low prices in the property market, and they're eager to take on finance to make sure they don't miss out on the great deals to be had.

Our numbers are backed by a recent study from Core Savills, which said that over half of Dubai's tenants are looking to buy their own residence in the future. Of these, the report said, 62 per cent were leaning towards buying to own, rather than buying to let. What's more, more than half said they were looking to purchase property over the next 12 months.

Hurdles
However, that same report added that buyers are being deterred by difficulties when it comes to securing finance on homes. That could explain the enormous growth we've seen in mortgage searches at compareit4me.com - if people are struggling to find good finance options for property, they'll look to compare offerings. This is where we come in - our mortgage portal allows users to compare almost 80 different mortgages.

We've also found that potential homeowners are looking at mortgages that will offer benefits alongside the home loan itself. According to our statistics, the most searched for home loan is RAKBANK's Home In One offering. This product is a mixture of a home loan and a current/savings account. Essentially, all a customer has to do is maintain a certain balance in that account, and he or she will pay less interest on the mortgage every month.

That said, you can't beat old-fashioned good interest rates. According to our research, the second most searched-for home loan is the United National Bank Mortgage for Expatriates. This home loan offers a flat rate of 1.94 per cent or a reducing rate of 3.49 per cent.

We've also noticed a 28 per cent decline in the number of searches for mortgages that don't require a salary transfer account with the bank you're borrowing from. We can only assume that users are wising up to the fact that you get better rates if you do opt for the salary transfer option.

Indeed, as appears to be the case in the real estate market, if people see what they perceive to be a good deal, it's likely they'll look into it.

The writer is CEO of compareit4me.com. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.


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