Friday, April 17, 2009

Abu Dhabi Property Market Tops In M-E: Survey

Source : The Business Times, April 16, 2009

(DUBAI) Abu Dhabi is likely to be the best performing real-estate market in the Middle East and North Africa in the next 12 to 24 months, according to an annual survey by the consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

A 'balanced' growth story, oil wealth and a relative undersupply of housing make the emirate the most attractive investment market in the region, the survey said. Property prices in Saudi Arabia and Qatar also are likely to outperform markets in other countries, the report added.

The worst financial crisis since the 1930s has weakened the property market in Gulf states as banks curtailed mortgage lending and speculators pulled out.

Real-estate prices in Dubai may decline 20 per cent more after falling 34 per cent from their peak last year, EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, Egypt's biggest publicly traded investment bank, said last month.

Though all Middle East and North Africa real-estate markets are in a 'downturn stage', Saudi Arabia is the least affected and Dubai, which is struggling with the global economic crisis and a major supply coming to the market, is furthest from a recovery, the report said. Property prices will fall in all markets in 2009, with the smallest decline in Saudi Arabia, and liquidity should return in 12 to 18 months and support a broad recovery by 2011, the survey said.

Investors' yield expectations have increased to about 11 per cent from 9 per cent in the last survey, according to the report. -- Bloomberg

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