Rents stick

Report predicts no increases in 2009.

Great news for anyone looking to find somewhere to live this year. Standard Chartered bank has predicted that rents in Dubai are "unlikely" to rise in 2009 because of the weakness of the labour market.

In a new report published, the bank said "demographic and employment" levels were key to determining rents.The study comes as Dubai's Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) revealed it had finalised its rental index that it hopes will replace the need for rent caps in the future.

“Rents can still move up in an environment where house prices drop, especially if more people are encouraged to rent rather than buy. Demographics and employment levels will be more important when it comes to determining rents," the Standard Chartered report said.

"Our view is that rents are unlikely to increase in 2009 (making the cap unnecessary) not because of the falling housing prices but because of the reported weakness in the labour market,” the report added. Rera said yesterday that the new rental index was designed to give average rental rates across different zones of Dubai although no prices have so far been revealed.

"The government has already interfered three times to impose rental caps and now there is hope that the rental index will remove this need," Rera said in a statement.

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