Case3D expert points to tech, property trends driving UAE properties
Case3D, a real estate marketing consultancy offering property visualization solutions which help boost off-plan sales for property developers, recently launched a web-based apartment navigator that allows homebuyers to see available offers and make reservations online.
Engaging homebuyers in every step of their journey, Property Navigator is an all-in-one solution for property developers that will allow them to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Below is an AMEinfo Q&A with Danilo Micić, Partner and CEO at Case3D
1- Can you give us more details on why and how the consumers and developers will benefit from this?
Property Navigator is a very easy-to-use solution that lets your customers find an apartment on a master plan, see all the details (eg. apartment size, amenities), and experience it in 360. What makes it stand out from regular floor plan listings is that it’s entirely visual – people point to the part of the building they’re interested in and explore it, which gives customers a much more realistic view of the apartment. The main benefit for the consumers is that they can imagine themselves in their future home instead of just looking at its 2D floor plan. The developers can also show a much more realistic view of the real estate than static 2D floor plans.
2-What indicators can you provide that point at the health of the property sector?
As far as property technology is concerned, we do not feel that there is a crisis in GCC/UAE real estate. With Dubai’s adoption of technological advancements in construction and real estate that are aimed to improve services and reduce costs, we see light in the future of real estate. In fact, the information that we get from our UAE-based clients is that the demand for properties continues to rise. We believe that this is due to the affordable segment that Dubai introduced recently, matched with easier payment plans, which turned renters into buyers. According to Deloitte’s 2018 Middle East Real Estate Predictions: Dubai, it is estimated that the total number of residential units delivered in Dubai in 2017 was approximately 15,000, representing an increase in the total stock of 3.5% since the previous year.
Dubai’s mandate to ease business processes and procedures, granting investors UAE residency visas for up to 10 years, for example, makes the real estate sector attractive to both local and foreign investors. In addition, the development of the mortgage law and other financing methods will allow investors to diversify their portfolio in the real estate sector.
The challenge that we see that continues to affect all industries in Dubai, not only in the property market, is the introduction of VAT which caused the increase in prices of services and materials, and in turn, impacted working capital for some business owners and developers. Having said that, the levied 5% still remains one of the lowest rates for value-added taxing in the world.
3- Industry trends: Is it a seller’s or buyer’s market for both commercial and residential properties?
Some of the trends that have been seen that affects the way sellers and buyers perceive the market especially in the UAE are: Technological advancements, luxury and branded residences, the rise of the affordable sector, and the easier payment schemes.
Technological advancements: Dubai has developed another initiative to use technology that will help reduce cost in many sectors especially in construction. The 3D printing strategy that envisions Dubai as a leading hub of 3D printing technology by 2030 will be introduced beginning in 2019. Also, the adoption of Blockchain technology within the electronic real estate platform by the technology arm of the Government Smart Dubai could streamline many aspects of the industry, reduce cost, and improve services.
Luxury and branded residences: There are still preference for the luxury segment which is evident in branded real estate developments in the city such as Bvlgari, Fendi styled villas, Residences at Palazzo Versace, to name a few. Just this year, Dubai developer Oriental Pearls signed a 10-year “multi-million dollar” branding deal with Tonino Lamborghini, the Italian lifestyle accessories and design firm.
Affordable sector: On the other hand, developers continue to build affordable developments supporting the middle-income sector. The approval of a low-income housing policy is behind this. We see this trend to continue to accommodate the influx of new residents that will take up jobs related to Expo 2020.
Rent-to-own: Rent-to-own schemes are becoming popular in the Emirates again. We have seen developers looking at this marketing scheme to create new demand and help ease expats’ woes in accumulating 25-30% down payment to acquire a property.
With the trends that we’re seeing, we can say that now is a buyer’s market. Buyers could benefit from the payment schemes and development of affordable housing.
Internationally, we are seeing more millennials investing in properties as well as a surprising rise in prices and a steady stream of construction. With financial literacy being slowly integrated into school curriculum, the young generation tend to make sound financial decisions and start investing early.
A few millennials who have good financial standing represent an increasing buying force in real estate. This independent, like to be in control, tech-savvy generation, source information online and interpret them intelligently.