Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.

 

Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.

REAL ESTATE TOP STORIES

Ajman offers highest gross rental yield in UAE

Ajman-offers -highest -gross-rental -yield-in-UAE

The UAE’s smallest emirate is gradually coming into its own as it is offering a 8.4% rental yield in apartment segment

Ajman’s real estate market has long been interlinked to Dubai’s performance with rental and sales prices often seen swinging in tune with the latter. But now, Ajman is attracting buyers and tenants looking for quality residences at affordable prices due to its rising population and economic activities.

Ajman was one of the first few emirates in the UAE to offer 100% freehold to foreign investors. In fact, it was the second emirate after Dubai to introduce the freehold property law back in 2004. This played a huge role in propelling the growth of the property market.

Primary investors in Ajman are mostly from the Levant (Palestinians, Jordanians, Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, and Egyptians) and the South Asian region (mostly Indians and Pakistanis).

“Based on our experience in the emirate, some of the popular freehold areas in Ajman are areas like Al Rawdah, Al Mowaihat and Al Zahra. These areas attract mainly private developers with most projects encompassing “two to five villa developments,” stated Imran Hussain, Head of Residential Valuations at Colliers International MENA.

He further said that these villas are very popular among large families that require four to six bedroom villas ranging from $326,694 to $571,714. The price range is dependent on many factors like specifications, quality, location, layout, built-up area and plot size.

Colliers highlighted that the apartment market caters to a large variety of budgets. In Emirates City, the price of a typical one-bedroom apartment starts from approximately $27,224 when compared to a similar apartment situated on the Corniche road, which starts from approximately $136,122. In some new developments, the starting prices can be even more.

 “The prices in Ajman are interdependent with Dubai and Sharjah’s real estate market. As a result of more affordable residential units entering the Dubai and Sharjah residential market, the overall market has become more competitive,” stated Ali Siddiqui, research analyst at Reidin.

Now, as rents have become more affordable in Dubai and Sharjah, he said that tenants are now migrating from one emirate to another to get closer to their workplaces.

 “The current pressure on rentals has forced landlords to offer various incentives and even drop their rents further to keep their units occupied,” stated Siddiqui.

Reidin research showed that in the last three months, sales and rent prices have fallen across the UAE due to the inflow of new residential units and various economic factors.

 “In Ajman, rent prices softened further by 6% (the highest among all emirates) in the last three months as residents can be seen moving out of Ajman to get closer to their workplaces, while some residents are seen moving into larger units within Ajman itself,” he stated.

Sales prices, on the other hand, he adds, displayed a minimal drop of 0.4% in the last three months.

Industry experts however stated that rental yields provided by residential properties in the UAE remained strong and healthy when compared to other major global cities, despite the continuous fall in prices.

 “The smallest emirate of the UAE, Ajman, currently provides the highest average gross rental yield of 8.4% in the apartment segment in the UAE,” stated Siddiqui.

The Ajman government has been increasing its investments in the real estate and construction sectors.

With the government taking on many initiatives while simultaneously investing in infrastructure, Ajman’s Composite Business Confidence Index, released by the Department of Economic Development (DED), for the first half of 2018, rose to 116 points, indicating a strong positive business forecast for the emirate.

The Ajman 2021 vision also focuses on tourism as a strategic sector, and the emirate’s tourism infrastructure witnessed significant improvement in recent years. The supply of hotels and hotel apartments increased from 30 establishments in 2014 to 39 units in Q3 2018, collectively offering over 6,100 beds according to tourism statistics released by the Department of Tourism Development.

“Ajman’s Vision 2021 will be key to the real estate sector in Ajman. The vision aims to increase the percentage of skilled workers in its labour market, improve local infrastructure and public services,” concluded Siddiqui.

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