DLD and Property Finder to create Dubai’s first official real estate price index

Data will be available online from late September

Dubai has passed a number of property-related laws over the past few years to protect purchasers and developers. Sarah Dea / The National
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The Dubai Land Department and real estate portal Property Finder have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on Dubai’s first official sales and rental price index, expected to be available online during the third week of September.

The new index, called Mo’asher, marks the first time the public will have insight into market trends based on official data.

"The Mo'asher will be the source of truth when it comes to real estate prices and trends in Dubai, therefore investors will have confidence knowing the data they are receiving is not speculative but rather factual based on the index," Lynnette Abad, director of research and data at Property Finder, told The National.

The DLD will provide data for the index on a monthly basis. This will be coupled with research and analysis from Property Finder’s data platform, Data Finder. The index will be available on the DLD website and Data Finder. The MoU was signed by Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director-general of DLD, and Michael Lahyani, founder and chief executive of Property Finder.

“Signing a partnership with Property Finder aligns us with an entity that enjoys an established reputation for leading people to property, especially as we are collectively aiming to enhance and increase real estate investment in Dubai,” said Mr bin Mejren in a statement.

“Mo’asher is the official real estate index for Dubai that provides consumers with better insights to help them when taking property buying and renting decisions,” he added.

The latest initiative follows several moves by the DLD to go digital and increase transparency in the real estate market. Last year it launched the blockchain-based Real Estate Self Transaction (Dubai REST) app, which provides data on transaction values, includes a rental increase index and allows for title deed verification. In May, it introduced an e-mortgage platform with Mashreq Bank and this week it rolled out Manzili — an online calculator that matches prospective buyers to new and off-plan properties based on their savings and budget.

The DLD’s moves are part of the Dubai 10x strategy, which aims to place government entities 10 years ahead of the rest of the world in all sectors, including real estate.

“Dubai Government’s willingness to partner with the private sector to create the Mo’asher initiative is an important first step in showcasing to the world the level of transparency that should be a standard across the region,” said Property Finder's Mr Lahyani.

Dubai was among the top three improvers globally in the “semi-transparent” category in the 2018 Global Real Estate Transparency Index from real estate consultancy JLL. The city came in 40th place out of the 100 markets covered, moving eight places up the biennial rankings from 2016.

“This will definitely elevate Dubai to the next level in the transparency index,” said Ms Abad.

The new price index, which will include historical data from 2008, will share details such as average price per sale, average price per square foot per sale and average annual rent for freehold, non-freehold and leasehold properties, said Ms Abad. Prices will also be classified at the master community level, so that buyers can compare areas.

“It just gives more transparency to what is actually happening in the market,” she said. “Before everything was very speculative. The index takes out the speculation 100 per cent.”