A total of AED4 billion have been deposited by developers in escrow accounts with 33 banks approved by the Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), said Marwan Bin Ghulaita, the agency’s CEO.
Speaking at the regular monthly meeting of the Dubai Property Group (DPG), Bin Ghulaita announced that the number of projects registered with RERA amounted to 1,560 projects, 476 of them have trust account. He noted that by the end of April, RERA had registered 710 developers, 1,487 brokers’ offices and 2,909 agents.
RERA and Dubai Land Department representatives presented the latest procedures and regulations for registering and transferring freehold properties in Dubai to over 300 DPG members. In addition to Bin Ghulaita, Mohammed Sultan Al-Thani, Assistant Director General of the Dubai Land Department and Khalifa Al-Suwaidi, IT Director at the Dubai Land Department were present.
Al-Thani announced that electronic forms for real estate agents are ready and can be easily accessible through the Department’s website, noting that by November 1st the Land Department will not clear any property transactions without these new official forms which are only accessible to RERA accredited real estate agents.
He added that the Land Department will be introducing two registration systems: one for completed property (the register) and the other for ‘off plan’ sales (the pre-register) in the coming two weeks. According to Al-Thani, after introducing this system, all new purchasers should go directly to the Land Department to register their property.
For his part, Al-Suwaidi introduced the land presale electronic forms to the members of the DPG announcing that the Land Department would launch a comprehensive training program covering the new procedures on May 5th. The training programs will become compulsory for real estate brokers in 2009.
According to Al-Suwaidi, these forms include full registration of buyer’s information, property details, and the amount sold for. They will permit developers to input all pre-sale, change of ownership and mortgage activities. “These forms have many useful features. They are easy to use and secure and compatible with the trust accounts and the title deed system. Moreover, these forms can calculate payments and fees and issue contracts online,” he explained.
“Use of these forms is mandatory and non-compliance would incur penalties,” noted Bin Ghulaita who also called for developers to stop charging transfer fees. All transfers, he said, should be registered with the Dubai Land Department only. He also noted that around 4,000 property professionals are doing business illegally in Dubai.
Bin Ghulaita added that by 2009, RERA plans to gradually incorporate all new properties and rental contracts for commercial and residential units into its registration process and aims to collect a database of rental agreements in Dubai.
“The creation of RERA, and introduction of new laws with the support of Land Department, has so far generated stability in the real estate market,” said Adel Lootah, the Executive Director of Dubai Property Group. “The introduction of these forms will further help eradicate bad practice and ensuring transparency across the real estate industry which will eventually benefit the investors and developers alike and attract more investment.”
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