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August 1, 2017 | 14:10 | Dubai
Dubai’s new advertising laws are helping house hunters find a home more easily. The number of listings on propertyfinder.ae has reduced, yet the number of searches on the site has surged, data from the real estate portal shows.
Real estate brokers must now be registered with the government’s “Trakheesi” system to place a property advert, also submitting forms confirming the owner’s consent and the exact property details. These rules apply to both sales and rentals and have helped remove the blight of duplicate, and inaccurate listings.
“It’s certainly a step in the right direction of improved transparency and a more professional industry which have always been a high priority for us,” says Paul Spargo, Commercial Director of Propertyfinder Group, the Middle East and North Africa’s leading real estate portal. “The most common complaints we hear from consumers are that properties are not available, the images are not representative of the property, or the advertised price is inaccurate.”
The new rules follow long-standing initiatives on propertyfinder.ae to deter misleading advertising. These include our “verified listings” tag confirming a property’s availability and accuracy of listing, a “Report a Property” button to alert us to potentially bogus listings and training to teach brokers best listing practices.
These measures along with the new government requirements have resulted in a significant drop in Dubai listings on propertyfinder.ae – in April 2017, there were 112,791 listings, down 32% year-on-year. Yet search sessions jumped 39% to 1.4 million over the same period.
“For consumers, it’s great news – they browse through fewer listings and almost certainly hear “sorry, that properties not available” a lot less because duplicate or fake listings have dramatically reduced,” says Spargo. “The number of people coming to our site continues to increase and that, combined with a reduction in listings, means our customers listings appear more often in search results resulting in more leads for them. So a win-win for both customer and end user.’’
Propertyfinder.ae, which accounts for 62% of all UAE visits to real estate portals, delivered nearly 300,000 leads in April 2017, up 46% versus the prior-year period.
LETTINGS SEARCH STATS
Propertyfinder’s search data provides an unparalleled and up-to-the-minute snapshot of Dubai’s real estate sector. For apartments, Dubai Marina remains the most attractive for would-be tenants, accounting for 19% of all Dubai viewings in the period of September 2016 to March 2017 inclusive.
Downtown Dubai’s 8% of searches placed it second, followed by Palm Jumeirah (7%) and Jumeirah Lake Towers (6%). Business Bay, Jumeirah Beach Residence and Al Nahda – which all increased in popularity – plus Sports City, Jumeirah Village Circle and International City make up the remainder of the top 10.
In terms of apartment type, one-bedroom (34% of views), two-bedroom (35%) and three-bedroom homes (15%) were most searched for.
For villa rentals, freehold areas accounted for six of Dubai’s 10 most sought after districts as per propertyfinder.ae data.
Arabian Ranches was No.1, accounting for 10% of views, while Springs (9%) and Jumeirah (8%) were next. Umm Suqeim, Al Barsha and Mirdif were the other non-freehold areas to make the top 10.
In terms of house type, three-bedroom (30% of views), four-bedroom (29%) and five-bedroom villas (22%) were most in demand.
Dubai Marina was also top-ranked for apartment sales, attracting one-fifth of all viewings. Downtown and Palm Jumeirah each drew 9% of views, while Jumeirah Village Circle claimed 8%. In terms of apartment type, it was a similar story to rents, with one- and two-bedroom apartments accounting for more than two-thirds of all viewings.
For villa sales versus rents, the top 10 most viewed districts differed in that all were freehold areas. The sprawling and expanding Arabian Ranches was again most favoured, garnering 14% of views. Palm Jumeirah and Springs – both 9% – plus Jumeirah Park (6%) and Emaar’s fledgling Reem development (5%) completed the top five.
Reem ranked only ninth for viewings in the final four months of 2016, but interest surged in Q1 2017 as the district’s villas near completion. The 1,300-townhouse sub-district Mira Oasis is due to be handed over in three phases from December 2017.