Sunday, 19 July 2009

Problems with Dubai Property sector

Dubai´s property market which already saw a plunge of more than 40 percent in the first quarter of 2009 suffered another blow after a respected ratings agency forecasted that the country is in debts that it may have trouble repaying.

According to a report by Property Frontiers, Standard & Poor´s Ratings Service (S&P) downgraded ratings for three government backed entities, namely, port operator DP World, the Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority, putting the trio on credit watch since April.

“The rating actions reflect Standard & Poor’s reappraisal of the likelihood of extraordinary financial support by the Government of Dubai to ensure the timely repayment of their financial obligations,” the agency told Property Frontiers.

S&P said the reappraisal also was the result of “increased uncertainty in regards to the government’s willingness to provide such support” to Nakheel, the property developer who built Dubai’s manmade islands.
On a separate report by Property Wire, the downturn in the property market in Dubai has resulted in about 400 people losing their jobs at major developer, Nakheel.

Property Wire reported that Nakheel, whose ambitious projects include the Palm Islands, has made the latest redundancies on top of 500 that were carried out in December.

´Nakheel continues to re-adjust its current business objectives to match supply and demand in the most effective way,´ a company spokesman told Property Wire.

Developers, who were mostly reliant on off-plan sales to finance the construction of their projects, have struggled to collect payments, leading to rising defaults, while payments to suppliers have been delayed.

High profile development projects have also been delayed and it is estimated that currently over £335 billion of projects have been halted or are on hold.

Dubai´s real estate market is the second worst performing housing market according to a global housing price research, coming in 44th in ranking – second only to Latvia.

S&P said the downgrades “reflect our view of the stand-alone credit profiles of the entities, which in certain instances, we consider to have deteriorated.”