19 July 2015

Dubai: The Curious Case of Payment Plans

In response to a plethora of exogenous (dollar strength, oil price declines, etc.) as well as endogenous (numerous real estate launches, doubling of transaction fees, Central Bank caps on mortgage etc.) factors, prices and transactional activity have fallen across the freehold markets. In response, Developers in Dubai have offered a variety of incentives to galvanize sales in the form of payment plans that have often stretched to well beyond completion. In a paradigm shift, the number of projects that have offered payment plans skewed towards completion and after has been an astonishing 55% of the overall off plan launches by 2Q 2015, up from 29% just two years earlier.

Whilst both Government Related Entities (GREs) and Private Sector Developers (PSDs) have moved towards a regime of skewering payment plans towards completion, it has been the latter that has predominantly shifted the payment plan profile; more than 70% of PSDs had started to offer this scheme to investors.

Whilst primary sales data remains unavailable, secondary off plan market activity indicates that thus far there has been little impact in reversing price declines, and that the purpose of the payment plan (either to entice speculative investors by offering developer leverage or galvanize end user unit sales) has not achieved in offsetting the impact of macro factors such as USD strength and/or Central Bank curbs.

Deferred payment plans are likely to continue to proliferate in an environment of low interest rates and as long as Central Bank curbs remain; however in the event of a rising interest rate regime, we opine that “developer leverage” will likely translate into the form of lower price offers in the primary market as well as an elongated timeline of supply.

To download the full report click here: http://blog.reidin.com/PublicReports/unitas2015Q3.pdf