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Dubai hotspot for Indian buyers with sharp drop in prices

May 22
22:30 2011

If you’re fretting over the increasing property rates in your city, how about buying a house in a place where the average prices are 60% cheaper than those in Mumbai? And no, we’re not talking about a tin shack in the boondocks. Actually, we aren’t talking of India at all.

It’s in the heart of a country, where water, sanitation and transport facilities are better than in any Indian city. Yes, Dubai is back on the radar of Indian buyers after a sharp drop in realty prices in the past couple of years. However, before you rush to buy land, you need to know the purchase process and the charges you will incur to own a house in Dubai.

Till May 2002, foreigners were permitted to only rent property or own it on a 99-year leasehold basis. However, they can now buy and own freehold property, but only in the New Dubai region. However, unlike in India, the country offers protection of the investor’s capital during the purchase process through the Escrow law. Another regulation to monitor the ownership and management of a jointly owned property is the Strata law. If, however, you think buying property in Dubai will automatically get you a job, think again. Owning a house doesn’t entitle you to a permanent resident visa or the right to work in Dubai.

If you’re still keen to buy one, you can begin your search on websites such as homesdubai.com, dubaiprop-ertygroup.com and househunter-sdubai.com. You can also approach a broker, who can arrange a 2-3-day realty tour, wherein he will take you around the city to show you various options. A tour that includes return air fare, accommodation, meals and visa charges costs approximately Rs 50,000. But don’t pick up a realty agent blindly. “Only those brokers who are registered with RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Agency) are permitted to sell property on behalf of investors and developers.

Individual agents should have a broker ID number that certifies they have passed the Brokers’ Certified Training Course,” says Matthew Green, head of research & consultancy, CB Richard Ellis, UAE. You can check the website of the regulator, rpdubai.ae, to see the list of approved brokers. To buy property, you need four documents-a copy of your passport, proof of income for six months, bank statement for six months and credit history for 36 months. The developer will assist you in having the property registered with the Dubai Land Department.

“The buyer will have to pay 1% of the property price as registration charge to the department. The seller too has to pay 1%. Once this is done, the buyer gets the title deed from the department,” says Darshan Hiranandani, director and CEO, Hircon International. If you want to finance your purchase, you can avail of a loan from a Dubai bank or a branch of an Indian bank, but it’s only available for properties that are already constructed. The loan-to-value ratio is 40-75% for Dubai banks, while it is 60-85% for the Indian ones.

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