Rental Price Index Brings Transparency, Stability

DUBAI — The long-awaited rental index launched by Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency on Wednesday, is expected to help rationalise and stabilise emirate’s commercial and residential property market that has been witnessing a unbridled escalation in rental prices over the past four years, businessmen and tenants said.

By Issac John

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Published: Fri 16 Jan 2009, 1:08 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 9:36 PM

The index, the first of its kind for the region, has also been welcomed as a measure to help discourage the practice of indiscriminate rental hikes resorted to by some landlords while providing both tenants and landlords a parameter to judge the rental price band for a particular unit.

Praising the RERA move — which is part of a package of regulations it plans to unveil in the coming days to stabilise the real estate sector — commercial and residential property tenants said the index would bring more transparency and confidence to the rental market. Although it is primarily designed as a guideline to calculate rental prices for a range of properties across the city, the index will put an end to unjust pricing and help reduce the number of complaints lodged with the rent committee over rent hikes, they said.

However, quite a few of the respondents from among a cross section of residents contacted by Khaleej Times were sceptical about the effectiveness of the whole exercise in regulating the rental market as the index was designed for “guidance and will not be a regulation” in the words of Eng. Marwan bin Ghalita, CEO of RERA. Some even voiced concern that landlords might use the index to justify steep rent increases if the property in question was below the new rental band.

As the index is not legally binding there will be room for negotiation beyond the parameters set by the index. “With a minimum and a maximum limit specified for each type of property, market forces will still apply,” analysts said. By enhancing transparency in the market, the index will help investors to have a solid idea of what rent their investment should be bringing in.

The index will evaluate various types of properties based on a spate of yardsticks, giving each property points for various attributes such as building facilities, near-by retail outlets, age and condition of building.

These points are used as a statistical basis to sent an minimum average and a maximum average rent price.

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