Real-estate is the most secure investment with fixed or almost-fixed returns. It is described as a ‘haven’ for those who seek secure or low-risk investments. Real estate, whether commercial, investment or residential or of any other purpose, gives the investor value for the asset and good returns, which is why investing in them is like an asset and can ensure stream of expected returns.
Those seeking long-term investments resort to investing in real estate, which represents a good impetus for expected returns. Reality proves that real estate investments have been and will continue to be a safe haven and guarantee investors the value of an asset or leased property. Marketers always refer to the adage ‘Real estate may get sick but it never dies’ as a proof of the low risks involved in investing in real estate.
Besides the abovementioned known details in this context, I will highlight some suspicious transactions in this sector. Illegal businesses and investments, both locally and internationally, and the so-called money laundering operations are centred on this sector, as it has massive level of liquidity.
Time and again, companies appear from nowhere in the real estate market. Perhaps they might be companies fronting for foreign businessmen. In such cases, it is necessary for the concerned authorities to take precautionary measures by bolstering the monitoring of buying and selling prices. Prior to that, the need for reviewing the files of these companies is essential. Who are the owners? Are they the real owners or are they fronts for suspicious parties that engage in illegal operations. Such monitoring and verification is very important so that our economy does not get affected by entry of black money. The country and its economy might face negative reputation which does not befit this respected country.
Suspicious operations such as buying off debts in concerned companies in order to obtain real estate papers legally or to waive off signatures legally must be observed. The number of real estate exhibitions which have become a weekly event must be monitored. There are suspicions concerning the lack of transparency about the real estate units being traded during these exhibitions.
For example, a land, which is probably intended for agricultural purposes such that it is forbidden to construct a residential building on it, could be sold in a country, and then sold off to an investor who might construct a residential unit on it. However, after the sale, the buyer will be shocked to learn that he does not even have the right to resell the property until after a long period. This and other such issues are among the cases related to real-estate filed by victims.
Another negative phenomenon that affects prices is fabricated sales whereby all parties agree on a deal at a price lower or slightly higher than the market price in order to temporarily reduce or increase prices for gaining profits in unethical and illegal ways. It must be noted that this is only on paper. In reality, no transaction of selling or buying has occurred.
In order to fight this negative phenomenon, it is necessary to first monitor real-estate exhibitions seriously and ensure the accuracy and transparency in the sales by revealing the complete picture to the buyers. It is also necessary to verify the amounts entering the market (I am talking about the companies that have question marks on them).
Another suggestion is that we must make paperwork easier and shorter for facilitating the process of monitoring and legal control with the aim of protecting the sellers and buyers.
This topic has many angles and details. I will delve deeper into it and reveal more details in the near future. In conclusion, real estate is and will be one of the most important and secure investments. I remember a person talking about the advantages of receiving rents from a leased property and the periodic inflows. He said, “Rent is like an obedient son”.
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi