New rules good news for Dubai property purchasers

New RERA rules

Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has initiated robust measures to combat deceptive online property advertisements, heralding a significant transformation in the city’s real estate sector.

The latest policy by RERA is poised to substantially slash property sales ads by up to 40 percent across multiple real estate platforms. This crackdown targets the misuse of developers’ No Objection Certificates, often exploited by agents to inundate digital platforms with individual property listings, resulting in a cluttered marketplace.

Welcoming these stringent regulations, Paragon Properties emphasized that the new rulings would bolster buyer confidence and underscore the UAE’s commitment to ethical business standards, previously disregarded by some companies.

“In the past, some unscrupulous real estate agencies with poor inventories were able to market non-existent properties to lure buyers to whom they could then market inferior alternatives, wasting much time and, in some cases, making sales in bad faith to uninformed buyers,” said Paragon COO Dean Charter.

“These regulations level the playing field even more so that buyers are drawn to more ethical businesses,” he said.

A pivotal aspect of RERA’s strategy is the introduction of digital form A, the official advertising permit for rental properties, expected to purge 50 percent of current online property rental ads. This measure aligns with RERA’s overarching goal of enhancing transparency and authenticity in listings, facilitating more informed decisions for stakeholders including buyers, sellers, and tenants.

The anticipated decline in property advertisements is poised to yield several immediate impacts. Firstly, stakeholders can expect clearer decision-making processes, unencumbered by the proliferation of misleading ads. Secondly, the reduced listings could expedite transaction times, potentially driving prices upward due to increased demand surpassing supply.

RERA’s unequivocal stance mandates that every online property ad accurately represents the promoted real estate, encompassing specifications and pricing. This approach aims not only to safeguard consumers but also to foster a more transparent market environment.

Despite stringent regulations, certain real estate agents and portals have exhibited creative interpretations of RERA’s advertising guidelines, inadvertently contributing to a complex landscape of responsibilities among market participants.

The repercussions of tolerating numerous unreliable property listings are multifaceted and profound:

  1. Portals risk reputational damage due to inaccuracies and unavailable listings, distorting market perceptions and compliance with RERA regulations.
  2. Developers may encounter discrepancies between listed and actual property valuations.
  3. Legitimate listings from real estate companies may face diminished visibility amid non-compliant listings.
  4. Investors could face heightened competition from undercutting or misrepresented listings.
  5. Compliant real estate agents may be disadvantaged compared to those taking a more lax approach.
  6. Market statistics and performance indicators risk inaccuracies, impacting the assessment of absorption rates and genuine market trends.
  7. Accurate reflection of market dynamics, such as absorption rates and property turnover, becomes challenging amidst a sea of inaccurate listings.

In response to these concerns, Dubai’s real estate brokers have been directed by the Dubai Land Department to promptly remove any listings that are no longer available for sale or rent from digital platforms, within a three-day deadline from February 15, 2024.

RERA rules backed by solid information

A recent survey conducted by Khaleej Times revealed that 21.5 percent of respondents were enticed by advertisements for either sold or unavailable homes, with an additional 32.4 percent expressing dissatisfaction with discrepancies between advertised and actual properties.

Furthermore, Dubai’s regulatory authority recently levied fines of Dh50,000 on 30 real estate companies for breaching advertising terms and conditions, underscoring the commitment to market transparency amidst unprecedented post-pandemic expansion.

In the UAE, numerous websites facilitate real estate transactions, including Dubizzle, Property Finder, Bayut, Asteco, and Allsopp & Allsopp, among others.

Notably, Dubai witnessed real estate transactions totalling Dh634 billion in 2023, representing a nearly 17 percent surge from the previous year, with approximately 71,000 investors venturing into the market for the first time.

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