Thinking of buying a villa or apartment in Dubai? We asked the experts for their need-to-know advice…

The property market in Dubai is booming. A recent Reuters report indicated that Dubai property sales rose by 60 per cent in the first half of the year, with an 85 per cent rise in the value of properties sold. According to the same report, a record 37,762 units were sold between January and July, with residential property market transactions totalling almost 89 billion dirhams ($24.23 billion).

If you’re thinking of buying in Dubai, the process can be daunting, especially if you’re new to the market and with so many factors to consider. So we tapped some industry experts for their top tips.

Look out for fake listings and view properties before you visit

“It is important for home seekers to keep an eye out on fake listings and ensure the listings they are viewing are authentic and available,” says Scott Bond, Country Manager, UAE at Property Finder. “A viewing before you visit can now be arranged thanks to advancements in technology, and should be the first step you take before visiting your potential future home. Whether that’s through a 360-degree tour, video tour or interactive floor plan, you can get a full view of the place, area and understand the property floor plan to make a decision on whether it’s worth taking the time to view.”

Location, location, location

“Dubai is a rapidly growing city experiencing urban sprawl on an unprecedented level,” explains Peter Smithson, Sales Director at Bellview Real Estate. “You only need to look at other cities and their respective property values to clearly see that location is the greatest determining factor in capital appreciation. The old property adage says, ‘it is better to buy the worst property in the best area, than the best property in the worst area.'”

Get a comprehensive understanding of the costs

“Before viewing properties, find out what the true cost of the purchase will be, including fees and required downpayment,” says Arran Summerhill, co-founder of digital mortgage platform, Holo. “The UAE may work differently from your own country and it is advised to get a full understanding of the full process and timescale, and what will be required and when. Then, be sure to get a pre-approval before going out viewing. You don’t want to fall in love with your potential first home, only to find out you cannot get the required finance. Also at the speed that the market is moving, you need to be able to offer as soon as you find your dream home. Having an approval in place will allow you to do this.”

Affordability and lifestyle

For those new to the Dubai property market, the main factor to consider is affordability, advises James Perry, Managing Director of haus & haus. “Do your research and know what areas can you afford to buy in. Once that’s clear, it’s also important to analyze the locations within your budget and then check the travel times, whether that’s the distance to your job, or the nearest school if you have children. If money is not an object, those two aspects get transformed into what the person is looking for in terms of property type, specific communities, or lifestyle preferences,” Perry adds. “For example, if a buyer loves to go kayaking in the morning they might look to purchase a property on the Palm Jumeirah to support that activity.”

Know your priorities

“Create your list of needs and wants at the offset,” says James Paul, Sales Consultant at Standpoint Real Estate. “That way you know the things that can’t be compromised, and the things you’re willing to be more flexible on. Provided you then have a rough idea of the areas that suit what you need, the search can then be taken over by a property professional to help guide you through the rest of the process and find your dream home.”

Image: Getty