Oct. 4 - Dubai property prices are on the rise again, climbing over 20 percent in some areas. There are fears of another property bubble, just four years since the market crashed dramatically in 2009. But are things different this time? Hayley Platt reports.
A room with a view. This is Dubai's Marina where an apartment like this one can fetch up to $800,000. Prices have jumped more then 20 percent in the last year, making Dubai's prime property market the fastest growing in the world. And despite a warning from the IMF about the dangers of another bubble, estate agents insist this time things are different. Mario Volpi is from Prestige Real Estate. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANAGING DIRECTOR OF PRESTIGE REAL ESTATE, MARIO VOLPI, SAYING: "We've seen a very good return to positive property market driven by fundamentals. The difference between this year and the last sort of boom that we've had is that that was driven mainly by investors but what we're finding now is that there are many people looking to buy for all the right reasons rather than what I would call the wrong reasons." It was just four years ago when construction came to a virtual standstill and Dubai's real estate market came crashing down. It lost half its value and pushed the Emirate State close to default. It's a scenario no one wants to see repeated. Dubai's central bank is taking steps to rein in the market - and is revising mortgage caps. But with many buyers paying cash, some fear not enough is being done. Cynthia Nasseh is from Jones Lang Lasalle. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SENIOR MENA RESEARCH ANALYST AT JONES LANG LASALLE, CYNTHIA NASSEH, SAYING: "They're all putting in place regulations and legislation, the loan to capital ratio, for example, which should be in place by the end of the year shows the efforts used to put limitations on the market so that we don't go back to the situation we had in 2008. But the problem is that most funding today is self-financed and we don't yet have regulations that restricts self-financing." Last week Dubai announced it would double the registration fee charged on real estate transactions from 2 percent to 4 percent - to prevent speculation. However, it's prompted a wave of buyers rushing to complete their transactions before the new fee takes effect on October 6.