After RERA crackdown, Dubai property market sees sharp drop in fake online listings

After RERA crackdown, Dubai property

Dubai: The number of Dubai residential property listings on online real estate platforms is starting to come down drastically after the RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) crackdown and bring in extra layers of transparency on what’s being sold and by whom.

This has effectively meant that ‘multiple’ listings of the same property and often showing different asking prices are getting removed from these property portals. The process should take on more urgency in the coming days.

The Dubai real estate authorities are indeed cracking the whip to speed up the process of removal. While there will be penalties for future violations, they are currently stopping real estate agencies and portals to show new listings – unless they remove past ones where the properties had actually got sold.

“That means if there is an eight-month old property listing showing, the concerned property agent has to provide evidence that it’s still a verified one,” said an industry source. “That means, the unit must not have be a sold one, and there should be the accompanying paperwork.”

Make sure to get ‘Form A’

The document in question is ‘Form A’, which is issued by RERA, and certifies that an estate agent can sell that particular property on behalf of a seller, whether that’s a developer or an individual.

Here too, RERA only ‘controls’ the number of forms issued for a property. The property portals have the onus to ensure the listing is still valid.

Apart from multiple listings of the same property with different prices, the other problem is that many a time, the property would have gotten sold through one seller. However, the property still shows up in listings because the other agents involved would not have bothered to take down their offers on the same unit.

By rule, any single property can be listed only by three estate agents with Form A credentials. However, there have been multiple occasions when more than three listings show up on a property. And clearly, they are not licensed to do so.

All that adds to price and market distortions, which is now what RERA wants to remove in totality. (It had done the same with print advertisements two years ago.)

“After RERA’s latest crackdown, we have seen a noticeable drop in listings,” said Florine Rusu, Managing Director at Market Price Real Estate.

“This has given us a clearer picture of what the Dubai property market is being driven by. It has also allowed us to give our buyers and sellers a more realistic picture of where prices are, and this has increased transparency.

“We believe this will increase the confidence – and the number of transactions – as end-users and investors get a feel of ‘real’ market prices.”

The ‘right’ price

Especially at a time when Dubai property values have been through successive years of double-digit growth, it won’t do the market any good to have ‘fake/inflated’ asking prices. At some level, it distorts the facts on the ground, and muddies the pitch for a newer crop of potential buyers.

“Areas like JVC, Dubailand, International City and mid-market segments have always suffered from multiple listings, which made it frustrating to pin down the pricing,” said Adnan Ahmed of Soli Roots Real Estate.

“The latest move by RERA has been a breath of fresh air for buyers and for the market. We believe prices will rise realistically after this transparency push.”

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