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Property investors from the UAE, India and the UK return to Dubai

The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) said that sales were boosted by 6,400 new property investors who entered the market.

Dubai’s property market was devastated at the end of 2009 when a boom turned to bust as overseas investors and domestic buyers deserted the market and this is the first official sign that they are returning.

‘This is a good sign that investors are coming back. We can expect 2012 to show the same increase or stay at the same level. We are marketing the real estate environment as transparent and secure,’ said Marwan bin Ghalaita, chief executive officer of RERA.

The majority of sales were to real estate investors from the United Arab Emirates, India and the UK. Flat and villa purchases were valued at AED48 billion and AED6 billion respectively, with most buyers either of Indian, UK or Pakistani origin.

Dubai’s property market was hit hard by the global financial crisis, which saw house prices tumble by more than 60%. Although the value of transactions last year continued to fall short of its 2009 high of AED158 billion, industry experts believe the market is finally getting back on track.

However, officials warned that the market will remain oversupplied in the short term, with some 10,700 units coming online last year and another 15,000 to 16,000 expected to be delivered in 2012.

Of the 200 projects currently under construction in the emirate, RERA expects at least a third to be handed over within the next 12 months.

‘We have 62 projects which have almost completed, which will enter the market in 2012. There are another 44 projects with a very good chance of entering the market in 2012,’ said bin Ghalaita.

He added that some 220 projects are still under evaluation and would not rule out further cancellations. The regulator, which cancelled 202 projects at the end of 2010, said last year that any property projects deemed economically unfeasible would face termination between now and 2016.