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    • Criminal Complaint filed against Al Fajer Properties Sheikh Maktoum
      Criminal Complaint filed in Germany against Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum CEO of Dubai Developer Al Fajer Properties The Dubai Sheikh who mislead and extort a German Couple  Germany – Dubai 2011 A German elderly couple , today 80 + 50 years old who have been Dubai Tourists since a decade, bought in 2005 an apartment at Nakheel´s Dubai Residen […]
    • UAE: Human Rights Blogger, Sorbonne Lecturer Charged With ‘Humiliating' Officials
      source Human Rights Watch www.hrw.org (Beirut) - The United Arab Emirates attorney general should immediately drop all charges against five pro-democracy activists to halt their trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The charges of "humiliating" top officials relate solely to the defendants' peaceful use of speech to criticize the UAE governmen […]
    • Nakheel Dubai Sunland Case
      June 5, 2011After 21 hearings, Chris O'Donnell, the Australian chief executive of Dubai's major developer, Nakheel, came to the defence of his former colleagues Matthew Joyce and Marcus Lee. Mr Joyce and Mr Lee are accused of profiting from the sale of land that had been earmarked for a colossal high-rise development, which was to include the futur […]
    • Dubai Nakheel CEO decided to leave the company
      Dubai June 7, 2011 Nakheel said on Wednesday that its CEO Chris O'Donnell had left the company "after completing his contract terms". O'Donnell, an Australian who joined the developer in 2006, said he had decided to leave Nakheel following five years spent with the company, the statement added. O'Donnell has overseen a traumatic time […]
    • Owner of Dubai Developer Damac Hussain Sajwani files case against Egypt corruption ruling
      Dubai property developer Damac said on Tuesday it had filed an international arbitration case against Egypt over a land dispute and the conviction of its chairman and owner, Hussain Sajwani.A Cairo court last week sentenced Sajwani in his absence to jail and ordered him to pay a $40.5 million fine in connection with his 2006 purchase of land at Egypt's […]
    • Dubai Palm Jumeriah - Investors plan to take legal action
      Investors in Dubai Palm Jumeirah’s Golden Mile complex will this week serve the developer behind the project with a legal ultimatum to hand over their units or issue them with a refund.Up to ten investors in the luxury complex plan to issue Souq Residences with legal notice in a bid to force a resolution to a dispute that has been ongoing for more than a yea […]
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Negative equity, defaults ‘now a Dubai reality’ – Real Estate – ArabianBusiness.com

Posted by 7starsdubai on November 29, 2008


Negative equity, defaults ‘now a Dubai reality’ – Real Estate – ArabianBusiness.com

Negative equity and widespread mortgage default is already happening in Dubai, with repossessions also likely, property experts have said.

Banks ramping up interest rates on home loans coupled with falling real estate prices have hit buyers of off-plan property hard as the market cools in the face of dwindling demand due to the global financial crisis.

“The problems of negative equity and mortgage default are now realities in Dubai,” said Matthew Hooton, head of real estate in the Middle East for law firm Ashurst.

Speculators who bought off plan – property yet to be completed – during Dubai’s six year real estate boom are now faced with spiralling mortgage costs as lenders grow increasingly fearful over customers defaulting on payments.

Official figures from HSBC bank published earlier this month showed that the price of top-end apartments fell by as much as 30 percent in Dubai’s downtown DIFC district during October. Experts believe if growing numbers of homeowners fall into negative equity, there will be a rush to sell real estate.

“Where you get real problems in the mortgage market is when you get the double whammy high interest rates making mortgages unaffordable and dropping house prices,” warned Chris Dommett, CEO of mortgage broker John Charcoal’s Dubai office.“That would be exacerbated here because most of the population are not from here. “The incentive to cut and run is greater.

If somebody can’t afford to repay their mortgage and house is worth less than is owed, it is a double incentive to walk away because that person is not walking away from any equity,” he added.

Negative equity – a term synonymous with Britain’s housing crash in the 1990s – is when the value of the property is worth less than the mortgage. Banks in the region are also under fire from leading industry figures over hiking mortgage rates way above the interbank rate or eibor, currently at 4.31 percent, for three months.

Arabian Business revealed last week that banks including HSBC and the UAE’s largest home loan lender Amlak, have hiked interest rates on new mortgages by up to 2 percent and are now charging customers up to 9.75 percent monthly interest.

Ian Albert, regional director at real estate broker Colliers International in Dubai said:

“I object to banks racking up interest rates. It’s excessive. You’ve got this problem where the banks are almost self-defeating themselves. “If I borrow at 8 percent I need to lease my property at 12 percent, the greater my yield increases, the greater the property value is depressed.” Albert predicted that although repossessions will happen it was unclear how banks in the UAE are set up to deal with such a scenario.

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