Dubai to get property price index in the new year

A price index is to be introduced in Dubai in early 2010 by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority to help benchmark property values in the emirate.

It will work along the same principles as the rental index that the organisation launched earlier this year and it too will be available on the RERA website.

According to Mahmoud Al Burai, Director of Development at RERA, it will be comprehensive and cover all property developments in Dubai.

‘We are moving towards a transparent and effective regulatory environment in which various players in the real estate industry can conduct their business. We want to make it as clear as possible,’ he explained.

‘We want to see the market where the rights of all parties will be protected, and in this regard the agency needs cooperation of all stakeholders to move towards global standards,’ he added.

Other plans include rolling out a series of initiatives designed to include all main entities within its regulatory framework.

Much awaited supply and demand statistics are to be available soon.

Established in July 2007 by a royal decree, RERA is part of the Dubai Land Department, which regulates, manages and licenses various real estate-related activities in Dubai.

Around 420 developers and 8,000 brokers are registered with RERA. Neighbouring emirates Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah have created similar property regulators.

Al Burai admitted that at the height of the property boom which crashed spectacularly at the end of last year the sector lost its focus and sense of responsibility.

He believes it is now firmly back on track.

‘It has been a long and painful year.

But it has taught us to be more creative, effective and ambitious. We have done a lot but there is more to do. This is just the start of it,’ he said.

He added that it was solely up to RERA to manage investors' expectations, pointing out that buyers had to take responsibility for their investments.

Alluding to examples of investors not properly examining contracts, he said: ‘We have a responsibility to protect the investors, but the investors also have their own responsibility.’

The latest moves have been welcomed within the real estate industry.

‘The idea of house price index is good as it will create a little more transparency in the market,’ said Ali Saidi, chief executive officer of Centurion Real Estate.

He added that it was time to launch a Multiple Listing Service where all properties could be seen on the RERA website and only registered brokers would be allowed to list.