After lying dormant for some time, Nakheel's credit notes have been getting a fresh airing over the last three weeks. Local real estate brokerage firms have been sending out messages about the availability of these credit notes and carrying discounts of up to 18 per cent.
By the looks of it, there are investors out there who are showing keen interest.
"Since Nakheel announced they are moving ahead with projects such as the Jumeirah Park and also Al Furjan, some owners' payment plans are falling due," said Cecilia Reinaldo of Fine & Country.
"Since they are looking at options to complete their payment plans, there has been a parallel pick-up in demand [for credit notes]."
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The discounts, of around 18 per cent, have only added to the allure.
This is how one sale was advertised: "Nakheel Credit Note For Sale Dh2,500,000 to Dh4,000,000 (Discount 17 per cent)".
Here is how it works: Let's assume the holder of the note owns Dh100,000 worth of credit on the Palm Jebel Ali.
He could tie up with an investor in a property at Jumeirah Park who needs to make a payment and who would like to use the credit notes to get the discount.
If the discount available is 18 per cent, this means the cost of the credit for that buyer will be Dh82,000 plus a 2 per cent transfer fee.
"In its simplest form, a credit note is something that you would perhaps get from a storekeeper as a substitute for a particular service or goods, one can use the credit note as value to exchange for something else," said Richard Paul at Cluttons' local office. "The Nakheel credit notes originated following some of its developments being placed on hold during the [global] downturn.
"Now that Nakheel has announced its intentions to continue or, more importantly, discontinue certain projects, there is the renewed interest in the credit note swaps.
"It is unclear as to how the discounts and notes are calculated; it could be on the original sum that the credit note holder paid to the developer through a deposit and payment plan, or it's based on a percentage of current values." But buyers of the credit notes should keep one thing in mind.
"Nakheel has rules and regulations related to each type of credit and how it can be used in each project," said Reinaldo.
"So the buyer needs to make sure the broker he is dealing with understands which credits can be applicable with what projects."
Growing buyer interest
The Nakheel development Jumeirah Park is starting to see a gradual rise in buyer interest. Prices at the villa community are currently between Dh700 to Dh810 a square foot, which would mean a 3,527 square-foot, three-bedroom villa would be between Dh2.4 million and Dh2.9 million.
A four-bedroom unit is currently asking Dh3 million to Dh3.7 million, and Dh3.5 million to Dh4 million for a five-bed. These could have rental yields of 7 to 8 per cent based on the prevailing numbers generated by completed villas in Dubai and answering to a similar build.
"Jumeirah Park started to pick up since September when a villa could have been bought at between Dh500 to Dh600 a square foot and which has since increased," said Cecilia Reinaldo of Fine & Country. "Most sellers are holding back on expectations of a price increase on completion. But there is so much of this mentality that the market will be flooded with villas on completion."
According to market feedback, the project could have nine delivery packages over 2012, with the first scheduled for delivery in March. "Though title deeds are not available as yet for the project, banks are starting to show signs of willingness to find options for funding property buys before their completion.
"There is a mixed bag of buyers at the moment; most investors are seeking a capital growth opportunity. But whether there is an element of risk only time will tell."