Dubai property deals fall in first half as emirate rolls out reforms : Dubai Land department [DLD]  said the value of real estate transactions in the first six months of 2018 was 111 billion dirhams  [$30.2 billions] across 27,642 transactions.

The  DLD did not provide comparative figures for the year-earlier period, however data released by the department last year reflects a 16 percent decline in the value of deals and 22 percent drop in their overall number.

The property market in the emirate has been battling headwinds from rising US interest-rates, expatriate job losses and a strong US dollar, to which the dirham is pegged, making property purchases expensive for many overseas buyers.

To counter these downward pressures on property market sentiment, the Dubai government has started to introduce reforms aimed at boosting confidence and overall business activity.

"Granting investors a UAE residency visa for up to 10 years and reducing government fees included in previous initiatives will be of the most important incentives for economic growth in the emirate, as they will have a positive impact on reducing business costs,"said Sultan Butti bin Mjren, director-general of Dubai Land Department.

The UAE non-oil economy is expected to "turn the corner" next year, Bank of America Merril Lynch said in a report last month - helped by Expo projects, changes to the worker insurance schemes and fiscal stimulus measures announced by the Abu Dhabi government.

Still, despite such efforts, the residential property market is bulging with newly completed homes built be developers offering  off-plan payment schemes.

Off-pan sales, where purchasers commit to owning a property before it is built, now account for more than half of all property transactions in the emirate.

As many as 45,000 new homes could hit the market this year with a similar number slated for completion in 2019, according to figures from JLL, the international real estate consultancy.


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