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Emaar Shoots Down Reports Property Buyers Will Get 10-Year Visas

There was excitement in the air early last week when reports surfaced that Emaar will start giving 10-year residence visas to buyers of its properties.

The UAE developer has now moved to stop those rumours in their tracks.

In a statement released to UAE daily Gulf News, the developer said: “Emaar refutes the report by a section of the media that it will provide 10-year visas to investors.”

“The issuance of visas falls under the purview of the concerned authorities and Emaar does not have any role regarding the same.

“This is to clarify any misunderstanding that might have been created by the said reports.”

According to Gulf News, the rumours started with a report in an Arabic language newspaper and the visa would have applied only to certain developments, including Dubai Creek Harbour, Arabian Ranches 2 and Emaar Beachfront.

Dubai has been shaking up its visa rules in recent months, which may have given rise to these latest rumours.

In May, it was reported that 10-year residence visas will be given to people with skills in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields.

Five-year residency visas will be granted to overseas students studying in the UAE, with 10-year visas granted to exceptional students.

At the start of last week, a new five-year retiree visa was announced. Eligibility for the visa depends on age and the value of your income and assets. You can get the visa if you’re above 55 and own a property in the UAE worth more than AED 2 million.

That represents a fairly small section of the UAE population, however, so most property owners will still have to go the normal route of either having a job or owning a stake in a business.

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Dubai’s Real Estate Market Is Getting More Transparent

JLL has singled out Dubai for its improved level of market transparency in its latest JLL Global Real Estate Transparency Index.

The professional services firm, which publishes the index every two years, commended Dubai’s initiatives, such as its building classification project, improved regulatory procedures, new and enhanced online apps for managing contracts and broker information, and unified lease forms. While Dubai wasn’t individually ranked in the report, which looks at countries as a whole, the UAE moved up eight places to 40th out of 100 markets covered in the index.

“Transparency is increasingly important for commercial real estate, where investors are allocating ever more capital,” said Jeremy Kelly, Director, Global Research, JLL. “The availability and quality of information – from prices to ownership – is crucial when trying to make investment decisions, especially in new markets.”

Since the previous report was published in 2016, JLL noted that 85 of the 100 countries surveyed have improved real estate transparency. Technologies such as blockchain, along with brokerage apps and open data initiatives, the company added, could help to continue this positive trend.

Besides the UAE, JLL noted improvements in transparency in other emerging markets. India, it said, has introduced wide-reaching regulations in the last two years, ranging from rules that require brokers to be registered, to mechanisms to resolve disputes with developers.

Foreign investment into India’s real estate sector has risen in parallel with these changes, to USD 6.3 billion in 2017 from USD 2.2 billion in 2014, according to JLL data.

H.E. Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General at the Dubai Land Department, pledged to do more to further improve market transparency in Dubai.

“While significant progress has been made in recent years, we recognise that further initiatives are required to enhance the level of market transparency,” he said.

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Real Estate Roundup!

May new home sales gain 2.2% from April

Sales of new single-family houses in May 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000, which is up 2.2% from April, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. — From Housing Wire

3 ways to tame student loan debt and afford a mortgage

It’s no secret that student loans can make buying a home a challenge. But what exactly is the problem, and how can buyers overcome it? The problem is that student loans can be included in the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. — From Bankrate

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