The Dubai real estate sector is barely two years' old. Getting in at the ground floor of a new property market has its advantages.
1. Prices are inexpensive by comparison to other similar trading hubs around the world, and are up by more than 20% in the past two years. There is scope for a substantial further rise, and certain properties have doubled in value already.
2. Property is a good hedge against inflation which is showing signs of re-emerging in the global economy. At such times the higher cost of debt servicing can usually be past on in additional rent, while the value of the property inflates and its debt is unchanged.
3. Rental income from property is a stable source of income, and while it might fluctuate, is highly unlikely to vanish altogether. Compare that to interest on deposit accounts or dividends on shares.
4. Real estate always has a residual value, although prices can certainly fall as well as rise. But property values will never fall to zero unlike shares and hedge funds.
5. Property is a kind of hybrid asset with the capital appreciation of a stock but the income producing capacity of a bond.
6. Investors typically have more control over the nature, timing and size of real estate investments. This is partly because they are tangible and easier to understand, and diversification is readily available in the form of different types of property.
7. Dubai property is open to any investor from anywhere in the world, unlike the local stock market. This means greater liquidity and more funds in the marketplace.
8. Demand for property typically picks up during an economic boom such as the one being seen in Dubai now. With massive projects such as the Dubailand theme park, Palm Islands, and Dubai International Financial Centre coming to fruition, this looks a wise time to invest in real estate.
9. Real estate is always an excellent collateral security against loans, and allows debt finance to be secured at the best rates.
10. Property portfolios offer great scope for diversification of risk into different property types, locations and rental levels. This helps to spread the risk of an interruption to income flow.