Property flipping, spending one-upmanship and Metro bidding
CEO of RERA says property flipping is ‘okay’
The CEO of RERA, Marwan Bin Ghulaita, has said that a certain amount of ‘flipping’, where a property is bought and sold several times over for an increasingly inflated price, is ‘okay’ for the housing market. It was practices like this that caused the great property crash in Dubai in 2009, leading to negative equity and a large number of off-plan properties never being built, while buyers mostly struggled and failed to get their money back on such projects. Ghulaita went on to say that developers had introduced their own measures to limit ‘flipping’ and no new projects were being launched without a 20% guarantee against construction costs. No mention was made of safeguards having been put in place by RERA to protect consumer investments. Read more here.
Would you like diamonds with that Sir?
The UAE’s wealthiest are changing their spending habits, according to a survey by Bain & Company. Super-luxury items such as 24 carat gold iPads are reportedly selling like hotcakes via the Burj Al Arab gift shop, and one-upmanship in the spending stakes has also risen to new heights. Competitive buying exists not only in fashion brands (although accessories sales rose by a staggering 74% in 2012), but among high-end car retail (with particular reference to Maseratis and Bentleys) and to pets, with tigers noted as the top big-cat pick. Buying into the ‘new experiences’ market has also become more popular, as the young and wealthy emiratis seek adventure over consumer goods. Read more here.
Metro open for bids
The bidding has opened for the construction of Abu Dhabi’s metro system and light railway, which will reportedly cost AED7 billion and will cover approximately 60 kilometers of track. Siemens, Bechtel and Samsung are just three major names expected to be in the running for the construction, which will mostly be underground and will begin at Zayed Sports City. The Transport Department said it aims for the first phase of the project to be completed by 2016/17. For more, read on.