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NEWS IN BRIEF DAMAC sees Dubai surge

NEWS By Sean Lightbown

DUBAI’s largest luxury developer DAMAC Properties has seen a surge in buyer interest for its portfolio across the Middle-East region. Niall McLoughlin, senior vice president of DAMAC, said that his company was seeing evidence that investors were returning to the market in large numbers. “Reports of increasing demand are being refl ected in our diminishing supply of inventory in completed residential projects,” McLoughlin said. “At DAMAC Properties we have very few apartments left in our residential projects which have been handed over, and we are now seeing investors shift their focus to projects which are more than 60% complete.”

onefi nestay get RCI deal

VACATION rentals company onefi nestay has announced a deal with the Registry Collection to market its properties to RCI members. Speaking at this year’s Fractional Summit in London, founder of onefi nestay Greg Marsh announced to delegates to delegates that the a partnership agreement with RCI had been reached. The scheme will see RCI members being given the opportunity to access the 400 central London homes onefi nestay has to off er. In return, London homeowners in the onefi nestay members will be able to rent out their properties to RCI customers in return for holidays. And Marsh, speaking exclusively to OPP, said that he was “very excited” to be launching the partnership. Marsh added that the company would be launching its ‘unhotel’ concept “in another international city soon, and hopefully in a third by the end of the year.”

Shanghai loans dropping

SHANGHAI property developers are receiving fewer bank loans as foreign investment into the sector more than halved. Loans to developers in the Chinese city fell 9.6% to 74.1 billion yuan and foreign investment in the developers plummeted 54.7% according to the Shanghai Statistics Bureau. In total Shanghai developers accrued 320.7 billion yuan in 2011, 0.7% down on 2010’s figure. Land sold in Shanghai also fell, with the 17.7 million sqm sold last year 13.8 down on 2010.

The fractional overseas property market has an “exciting” future of “opportunity”, but is still being hit by a lack of confi dence according to experts at this year’s Fractional Summit in London. Moderating the Summit’s “Future of Fractional” panel session, the Association of International Property Professionals’ (AIPP) chief executive Mark Sharp told delegates: “This is an exciting arena in which to exist and do business.” “There is consumer demand, but there

is also a lack of consumer confi dence,” Sharp added. David Disick, president of, exclusively told OPP: “The sense I am getting from a lot of people is concern and caution. However, the savvy guys are seeing that the opportunity is there, especially at the luxury end.” Delegates were optimistic about the

future of fractional, particularly with many of the fractional 101 sessions - providing an introduction to fractional real estate - proving extremely popular. |MARCH 2012 Fractional exciting but nervy

Breaking through | The fractional industry needs to reach out to new developers George Sell, editor of Fractional

Trade, told OPP: “It is good to see a lot of people completely new to fractional visiting and learning from the talks.” Piers Brown, founder of Fractional

Life, added: “It’s good to see a lot of new blood at the event.” Ioannis Verdelis, senior consultant at

Best International, said: “If you are given time to explain it to consumers fractional makes sense. There is a demand for it, so there is a future.” However, Verdelis added that there

is problem when agents are concerned. “Agents and brokers would rather sell a £500,000 property for 10% commission than a fractional unit for a smaller cut.” Brown added: “The industry collectively has risen awareness, but ultimately it is about cash. The challenge for the industry is new developers coming into fractional and educating them.” “There is a lack of consumer

confi dence out there. There has been so much shakedown within the market place that it is survival of the fi ttest.”

Singapore correction ‘very likely’

A weakening economy and government cooling measures are pushing the Singapore residential market towards recession say local agents and the developers. ABSD, the additional buyer’s stamp

duty levy introduced by the Singapore government last year to stop home prices overheating as Chinese buyers piled in, has certainly started to have an effect as the wider economy falters. And the city’s leading developers

certainly seemed to be tight-lipped on the subject of more competitive pricing at this week’s Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS) Spring Festival luncheon. Many said that it was too early to

judge the true effects of the ABSD, but it has certainly “scared off large numbers of foreign investors.” Ong Teck Hui, head of research at the

Singaporean agency and consultancy Credo Real Estate, told OPP that “even

Dark times | for Singapore says REDAS

if we don’t see a recession this year but economic conditions continue to deteriorate, a market correction is extremely likely.” And he is not alone in this view.

Market analysts in Singapore have been arguing for some time over when a correction is likely to take place, with many believing that one would occur in 2012 as a result of government cooling measures, economic uncertainty and

rising stock levels. Hui thinks that Singapore’s suburban

primary mass market will do well because the city still has a large demand for housing, but the secondary markets will probably face price moderations. Historical data from Credo Real Estate

shows that Singapore has experienced several instances of residential property price corrections in the past, most notably in 1983, 2000 and 2008, following a sustained period of virtually zero price moderation – a pattern that has become apparent with Singapore’s property market today. Singapore’s residential property price

index slowed to 0.2% during the fi nal quarter of 2011, down from 1.3% in the third quarter of 2011. Credo Real Estate believes that this indicates that current property values in Singapore are close to their apex, and that a correction could happen any time soon.

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