I receive so many questions regarding the current state of the market and whether now would be a good time to buy.
My answer is invariably yes, especially as the market has become attractive with opportunities available and advantages to be gained from purchasing now.
The market has been cooling for around a year now, but is expected to pick up again in 2016 as the next five years are expected to see strong economic growth in Dubai.
Picking the exact timing is always difficult but it is better to be early rather than late and starting early will be a prime determinant of your success.
I recommend you start your property search immediately as a property investment requires the same approach and set of considerations regardless of the state of the market and proper due diligence can take time.
You are embarking on a major purchase which has the potential to affect your life in either an extremely positive or negative way. So you need to make a timely decision, not a hasty one.
Be critical in determining what you can afford. If you have the cash, I suggest you pay for your new purchase outright. However, don’t be afraid to take out a mortgage… just be sure you fully understand what mortgage repayments are going to do to lifestyle and whether you are prepared to make some sacrifices to own your own property.
Make sure that you consider the many and varied easy payment plans that are currently on offer as many of these plans will save you considerable amounts of money.
Think carefully about location, surrounding infrastructure, construction quality and developer reputation and building amenities. Properties which are close to the beach, with a sea view, a golf course view or part of an iconic development such as Downtown usually provide good returns. If you have close access to the Metro, even better.
When buying an apartment, you also need to consider the efficacy of the owners’ association, costs associated with service charges and the quality of maintenance services as these will impact the long-term value of your investment.
Finally, be purposeful, persistent, patient and pragmatic in your approach and you are well on the way to making a sound decision.
-The author is managing director, Harbour Real Estate.
-As told to Sharmila Dhal, Chief Reporter