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When recommending property to a client, it pays to never settle. Such is the guiding principle of Kunal Puri, a property investor turned realtor, who began a real estate company, La Capitale, in 2009 after gaining first-hand experience from investing in real estate in Dubai. Puri says he does not offer any property to a client “unless we are convinced” it is the right choice.
When he started the business, Puri says he was aware of the high-risk activities of some investors in this market. “If we don’t believe in a product we refuse the business as we always look for long-term rather than shortterm gain,” says Puri.
La Capitale is marketing projects from the top developers such as Emaar andDubai Properties, as well as new players such as Nshama in areas such as Dubailand (Mudon, Reem Community), Arabian Ranches, Emirates Living, Downtown Dubai, Business Bay and Jumeirah Lakes Towers.
Is Dubai realty on the road to recovery?
We have seen that property prices have increased since May. Buyers who missed the opportunity to purchase before Ramadan are already witnessing a Dh50,000 to Dh100,000 rise in prices, mainly in the affordable housing sector. The high-end market (properties worth above Dh5 million) have not seen much change, but when this segment gains momentum the prices will double in no time. The price of land has also increased and traditionally this happens when the property prices are on an upward trend.
What are the topperforming communities?
One of the top performers is Mira by Emaar, a new town house community located just a 10-minute drive from Arabian Ranches. This place has seen a minimum jump in price or around Dh100,000 in the past two months and being just two months away from handover, it is a preferred choice by end users and investors. Another hotspot that has seen high demand in past two months is Town Square by Nshama, where the developer has launched Zahara and Hayat town houses, along with a series of apartments across the development.
The other community that is taking shape is IMPZ. The best part is that not only is the infrastructure ready, but a community mall developed by Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) is now open. We know the last winning story of Dubai real estate has been Al Barsha, where the MAF mall has made such a huge impact. Not only has the residential sector seen tremendous growth as a result of the mall, but also the commercial market.
The primary interest is from the end users. However, there are also small investors returning to buying in the affordable market, which is a healthy sign. I also expect big-ticket investors to come back in the next six to eight months. In the past, the Dubai property market has seen apartments on a high turnaround; however, now there is great interest for town houses because of factors such as land ownership, low service charges and backyard facility.
What is your advice to those who are looking to invest in Dubai?
Everyone talks about “location, location, location”, but not many know why it is repeated thrice. The first location stands for main communities such as Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai and then the second location points to the main areas in those communities, for example Marina Promenade in Dubai Marina or close to Opera District in Downtown. The third location is the property inside the community, such as Aurora and Beauport tower in Marina Promenade or Address Opera I in Opera District.
Around 80 per cent of buyers look only at the first location, 50 per cent look at the second location and only 25 per cent know the importance and views of the third location, but all these are important to consider before the final purchase.
Another factor is the view, which does not mean picking a unit overlooking a golf course, or getting the Burj View or a lake view. It is looking for a property that does not have a blocked view, and certainly not looking directly at a chiller unit or a Dubai Electricity and Water Authority substation. Other factors to consider include buying from a renowned developer, viewing amenities inside the community and the surrounding areas and the layout of the unit from inside as per your needs.
Source: Hina Navin, Special to PW