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|13 May, 2019

UAE residents ranked top property enthusiasts globally: HSBC

Of the 1,058 people surveyed in the UAE, 39% owned a home in the UAE, and had high positive sentiments about buying a property

Dubai, UAE: People in the UAE spend more time reading, researching and trawling property listings and magazines, compared to the nine other countries surveyed in HSBC’s 2019 Beyond the Bricks research.

The survey, conducted by Toluna on behalf of HSBC, polled 11,932 adults aged 21+ across Australia, UK, Canada, UAE, Mexico, France, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan, including 1,000 in the UAE.

UAE residents emerged as ardent property-enthusiasts, spending 6.6 hours per week “window-shopping” for homes, highest globally, even when not in the market for a new house.

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Positive and optimistic buyers in the UAE

Of the 1,058 people surveyed in the UAE, 39% owned a home in the UAE, and had high positive sentiments about buying a property. People in the UAE were more hopeful (94%), excited (89%) and optimistic (85%) about buying property, 12 points higher than global averages.

Marwan Hadi, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, UAE, HSBC, said: “The UAE continues to be a destination of choice for career-minded expats with more and more making it their home. The fact that sentiments around buying property are positive is indicative of the development of the sector. Backed by robust real estate reforms, the property industry has improved greatly over the last few years. From property brokers and online portals to competitive mortgage offerings and efficient property registration processes, we have seen sweeping advancements across the board, lending more confidence to the industry.”

House hunters in the UAE are quite thorough with 66% having viewed one to five homes before buying their first property. The time and effort spent on research certainly pays off as 50% cite they knew it was the right home for them as soon as they walked through the door.

Interest rates and monthly installments top deal-makers

For UAE homeowners, overseas owners and those intending to buy in the next decade, attractive interest rates, affordable monthly payments, a trust-worthy mortgage provider and an easy application process, are most important when deciding on a mortgage.

“According to the survey, for UAE respondents’ planning their next five years, buying a new home remains a top priority (35%), followed by career progression (22%) and marriage (20%). It’s important that people have a financial plan in place that helps balance competing priorities such as daily expenses, school fees, savings and investments, along with mortgage payments. As more buyers enter the market, we will see further advancements in the industry, with providers bringing more customer-centric offering in the market,” added Mohd Hadi.

HSBC offers two types of Home Loans – the 3 month Eibor-based Variable rate and the Fixed introductory rate loan. Launched in September last year, the latter offers two, three and five year fixed rate options keeping in mind customer needs in a rising interest rate environment. Both products offer attractive pricing and early settlement options to the customers.

59% of buyers responding to the survey said they had a strict budget and stuck to it, 12 points higher than global average, while 37% said they went over budget.

Part of building an effective plan also involves better understanding of the real estate market. Commenting on the UAE property market, Craig Plumb, Head of Research, MENA, JLL, said: “Now is a good time to be considering buying a home in the UAE. Average prices have fallen by around 10% in Dubai over the past year, but the rate of decline has slowed in recent quarters as the market approaches the bottom of its cycle.  With large amounts of new supply entering the market, developers are offering discounts and more attractive payment plans to attract buyers.  Most families do not currently own a property in the UAE and the present soft market conditions provide an opportunity for those families renting space today to get onto the housing ladder.”

As per the survey, people in the UAE are most obsessed about their property, in-country or overseas, as 38% check its value at least once a month, compared to owners in the UK (14%) and USA (28%).

About the Beyond the Bricks survey

The research was carried out by Toluna on behalf of HSBC through an online survey. The total sample size was 11,932 adults aged 21+ across the globe. Fieldwork was undertaken from 11 November to 5 December 2018. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults in 9 markets: Australia, UK, Canada, UAE, Mexico, France, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan.

HSBC in the MENAT Region

HSBC is the largest and most widely represented international banking organisation in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT), with a presence in 9 countries across the region.  HSBC has operations in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Algeria. In Saudi Arabia, HSBC is a 40% shareholder of Saudi British Bank (SABB), and a 49% shareholder of HSBC Saudi Arabia for investment banking in the Kingdom.

This presence, the widest reach of any international bank in the region, comprises some 350 offices and around 10,500 employees. In the year ending 31st December 2018, HSBC in the MENAT region made a reported profit before tax of US$ 1,557m.

© Press Release 2019

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