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Prices will level off by end of the year

Property prices in Dubai will hit rock bottom in the third quarter of this year before starting to level off, according to an industry expert.

Iseeb Rehman, Managing Director of independent property consultant Sherwoods, said at a recent meeting of the Dubai Property Society: "I think you will see prices leveling off around the third quarter of 2009. That is when you will see the bottom of it. There will then be a period when prices start to hold up for at least 12 months before we start to see them move upwards again," Rehman added.

Jones Lang Laselle, Managing Director Blair Hagkull, agreed. "2009 is a period of transition. In a year we will start to see some improvement in specific sectors. Ultimately, by 2011 we will be back on track," he said.

But property consultancy Cluttons resident partner Ronald Hinchey warned that it may take much longer before property prices return to 2008 levels. "The Hong Kong market was quite similar to Dubai.

It went up steeply for seven or eight years. When it corrected in 1997, it corrected by 40%-60%. Here we are 11 years later and prices there still haven't got back to where they were."

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