Sharjah's Nujoom Islands Offers Incentive BonanzaThursday, July 01, 2010
Pragmatic demands by investors for escrow accounts, rent-to-own instalment schemes and progress on infrastructure work were given scant regard during the property boom in the UAE. In a turnaround of sorts, developers are now instead offering incentives to jumpstart unit sales after the reality check inflicted by market forces. Announcing unit sales in Sharjah's Nujoom Islands project at a time when off-plan has been become unpopular could have turned tricky for developer Marsa Al Nejoum had it not employed strategic measures to gain investor confidence. A real estate development arm of Saudi Arabia-headquartered Al Hanoo Group, Marsa Al Nejoum is pitching waterfront villas in Blue Bay (Phase 1 of the project) at UAE nationals and Arab expatriates. With banks tightening credit lines,the developer is offering investors a rent-to-own payment plan, in which investors incapable of making upfront payments can instead opt for quarterly payments during construction and monthly payments after completion. "We have a good understanding of customers' payment patterns.
The scheme is designed to help tenants become owners after instalment payments of up to 20 years," says Shaikh Abdulla Al Shakra, company chairman. "Repayments start at Dh5,000 per month for two-bedroom loft villas. The instalments will be equal to, if not less than, the prevailing rents for similar units." Comprising detached, attached and loft villas, Blue Bay was conceived as a gated precinct, replete with a community centre, convenience stores, cafés, money exchanges and pharmacies. The developer's assurance of the land being fully paid for and payments being linked to construction milestones is expected to reduce investor concerns. "We are currently in a stage where no one can predict the market movements. The market is currently undergoing a speedy recovery process and confidence is returning," says Al Shakra. "I believe finance availability is still an issue in the market with banks imposing strict lending criteria. In such a situation, as a developer it becomes vital that we enable easy and accessible finance options to our customers as it is a very important aspect that can influence their decisions," he adds.
The developer's resolve to complete the canal excavation, amounting to almost two-thirds of the infrastructure work in the master community, before commencing villa sales, will further enhance its credibility. Buyers shying away of investing in the project following complaints about Sharjah's tardy infrastructure can take comfort in the use of renewable energy sources in Blue Bay. "We are working closely with the government to provide the best infrastructure in Nujoom Islands. We are also exploring solar alternatives for the project," says the chairman. While all street lights and water heaters in the villas will be solar-powered, waste water will be recycled. "We have worked closely with our infrastructure designers to integrate the project with different aspects to reduce the facilities management and operational costs for our customers," he adds. After coordination with the Sharjah Planning and Land Department, the developer had to adjust the productmix in Blue Bay, replacing tall towers with low density villas. With construction on Blue Bay villas slated to commence shortly, the promoters expect the project to be completed between 2012-2013. A boutique hotel, school and recreation clubs will add to Blue Bay's mixed-use credentials.Source: Gulf News